With the new Kevin Spacey, Jennifer Garner, and Christopher Walken “body swap” cat comedy Nine Lives coming to theaters August 5th, we decided to take a look at and rank the 10 best “body swap” comedies of all-time.
P.S. What was in the drugs in the 80s? Body swappin’ in film was as common a theme as nudes were on SnapChat when it first hit the ground running.
11. Freaky Friday
This one was so good they made it twice. We’ll go with the original here. Trading places was never so funny, and it could only happen on Friday the 13th! That’s when the tomboyish and free-spirited Annabel (Jodie Foster) switches bodies with her straitlaced mother, Ellen (Barbara Harris), and suddenly finds herself responsible for running the entire household. In turn, Ellen, now in her daughter’s body, faces the daunting challenges of school, including a typing test, field hockey competition, and much more!
10. 18 Again
Following a car accident on his 81st birthday, ruthless businessman Jack Watson (George Burns) discovers that he’s somehow switched bodies with his timid 18-year-old grandson, David (Charlie Schlatter). While David lies comatose in Watson’s aging body, Watson has no choice but to adopt his grandson’s identity. Thrilled with his newfound youth, Watson soon excels at sports and becomes the most popular kid at school, but with his new lease on life comes a new perspective as well.
9. 17 Again
Being this is a countdown, we’ll put 17 after 18. What would you do if you got a second shot at life? Class of 1989, Mike O’Donnell (Zac Efron) is a star on the high school basketball court with a college scout in the stands and a bright future in his grasp. But instead, he decides to throw it all away to share his life with his girlfriend Scarlet and the baby he just learned they are expecting. Almost 20 years later, Mike’s (Matthew Perry) glory days are behind him. His marriage to Scarlet (Leslie Mann) has fallen apart, he has been passed over for a promotion at work, his teenage kids think he is a loser, and he has been reduced to crashing with his high school nerd-turned-techno-billionaire best friend Ned (Thomas Lennon). But Mike is given another chance when he is miraculously transformed back to the age of 17. Unfortunately, Mike may look 17 again, but his thirtysomething outlook is totally uncool among the class of 2009. And in trying to recapture his best years, Mike could lose the best things that ever happened to him.
8. Chances Are
A man’s love for his pregnant wife, Corinne Jeffries (Cybill Shepherd), is interrupted when a car accident sends him to heaven. He is reincarnated, however, and two decades later he is a writer named Alex Finch (Robert Downey Jr.). But when Alex starts dating Miranda Jeffries (Mary Stuart Masterson) — his all-grown-up daughter from his previous life — he remembers his love for Corinne. This spells trouble for his past-life best friend, Philip Train (Ryan O’Neal), who is now pursuing Corinne. Let’s be honest here, the VO might actually be better than the film itself.
7. The Hot Chick
Not only is Jessica Spencer (Rachel McAdams) the most popular girl in school — she is also the meanest. But things change for the attractive teen when a freak accident involving a cursed pair of earrings and a chance encounter at a gas station causes her to switch bodies with Clive (Rob Schneider), a sleazy crook. Jessica, in the form of the repulsive Clive, struggles to adjust to this radical alteration and sets out to get her own body back before the upcoming prom.
6. Dream a Little Dream
Bobby Keller (Corey Feldman) is a slacker high school student who, while running through a short cut through a backyard in his neighborhood one night, collides with Lainie Diamond (Meredith Salenger), over whom Bobby has recently been obsessing. During the collision, elderly professor Coleman Ettinger (Jason Robards) is performing a meditation exercise in the yard with his wife Gena (Piper Laurie), theorizing that if he and his wife can enter a meditative alpha state together voluntarily, they will be able to live together forever. However, just as the Ettingers are on the verge of completing their meditation experiment, the teenagers’ collision renders both teens unconscious, enacting a type of body switch between the four characters.
5. The Change-Up
Once inseparable pals, Dave (Jason Bateman) and Mitch (Ryan Reynolds) have drifted apart over the years. Dave is an overworked lawyer and family man, while Mitch has thus far avoided most of the normal responsibilities of adulthood. Each is envious of the other’s life, and following a drunken binge, the men awake to find they have somehow switched bodies. Dave and Mitch soon discover that things are not as rosy as they seemed and try to find a way to return their lives to normal.
4. All of Me
While on her deathbed, the rich Edwina Cutwater (Lily Tomlin) has her lawyer Roger Cobb (Steve Martin) add the odd stipulation to her will that her soul will be inherited by the young Terry Hoskins (Victoria Tennant). The plan backfires when Edwina dies. She ends up inhabiting Roger’s body and controlling only its right side. Edwina and Roger are forced to work together to find a way to get her soul out his body and into the body she originally intended.
3. Like Father, Like Son
While Dr. Jack Hammond (Dudley Moore) is a respected surgeon on his way to getting a coveted position at the hospital where he works, his son, Chris (Kirk Cameron), is a mediocre high school student with problems his dad could not care less about. Then one day, Chris’ friend (Sean Astin) invents a formula that causes father and son to switch minds. Now Chris, who is in Jack’s body, has to deal with all the grown-up issues his dad contends with, while Jack gets to revisit the days of teen angst.
2. Vice Versa
After an airport mishap leaves businessman Marshall Seymour (Judge Reinhold) in possession of a mysterious skull following a trip to the South Pacific, he unwittingly falls victim to its magical powers when he and his son Charlie (Fred Savage) swap bodies. Unable to switch back, each must lead the other’s life while trying to figure out the cause of the sudden change — all the while avoiding a pair of smugglers intent on getting their hands on the apparently valuable skull.
After a wish turns 12-year-old Josh Baskin (David Moscow) into a 30-year-old man (Tom Hanks), he heads to New York City and gets a low-level job at MacMillen Toy Company. A chance encounter with the owner (Robert Loggia) of the company leads to a promotion testing new toys. Soon a fellow employee, Susan Lawrence (Elizabeth Perkins), takes a romantic interest in Josh. However, the pressure of living as an adult begins to overwhelm him, and he longs to return to his simple, former life as a boy.