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Switch Review

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Steve is murdered by a pack of his former lovers and, after some deliberation, God decides to send him back with a task - to find one woman who does not hate him. The twist - he's sent back in the fine form of a beautiful woman.

★★★★★

Steve Brooks (King) is a philandering ad man who is murdered by a group of ex-lovers led by the wealthy Margo (JoBeth Williams). Except for his cruddy treatment of women, Steve has apparently been perfect on Earth - a morally impeccable ad man? - so his destination is a tossup, God (with an assist from the Devil) decides to send him back from whence he came to find one woman who doesn't hate him. The titular switch is that, to teach him a lesson, he's sent back in the form of a beautiful woman (Ellen Barkin).

Barkin's unfeminine, tough-guy performance is the film's one redeeming feature, although undercut by the general lack of comic invention. Writer/director Blake Edwards seems to have taken the phrase "walk a mile in my shoes" quite literally: he cops the hilarious high-heels stumbling from Some Like It Hot and makes it a central joke in every scene. (Not only does "Steve" never adjust to heels, he also never buys flats.)

Switch is an unacknowledged, less funny retread of the Vincente Minnelli/George Axelrod film Goodbye Charlie, which frankly wasn't such great shakes in the first place. More sad evidence herein that some fluke must have saved the once great Edwards from perishing during the Pleistocene Era, his remains eventually turning to oil. Certainly "crude" and "unrefined" are among the adjectives that apply to this sex farce, along with "derivative" and "shallow". Most important - and perhaps, sad -of all, is "unfunny".

Certainly "crude" and "unrefined" are among the adjectives that apply to this sex farce, along with "derivative" and "shallow". Most important - and perhaps, sad -of all, is "unfunny".