What parents need to know
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that this film is too bawdy for children under 17 as it has explicit female nudity, coarse language, and visualizations/discussions of hard-core drugs (including PCP, cocaine, Quaaludes). Besides profanity, there are racist remarks. The mature content depicts stereotypes of social classes and different races. Avarice drives many of the characters, yet the film does a good job showing the ill effects of greed.
What's the story?
TRADING PLACES tells the story of greedy, wealthy Wall Street brothers Mortimer (Don Ameche) and Randolph (Ralph Bellamy) Duke, who wager on whether environment or heredity defines a man. The pawns in their game are a smart-mouthed street hustler Billy Ray Valentine (Eddie Murphy) and an affluent investment executive Louis Winthorpe III (Dan Aykroyd). The bet entails taking Winthorpe's power and money and giving it to Billy Ray to see if whether nature or nurture will take over. When both Valentine and Winthorpe get wind of the brothers' scheme, they join forces to turn the tables on the Dukes.
Is it any good?
Set as more of a dark comedy Trading Places insightfully raises some issues about socio-economics and class structure in America. Both Aykroyd and Murphy put on stellar performances, in addition to cameos offered by Al Franken and Jim Belushi.
Although the movie depicts many stereotypical views of money, it could offer good topics of debate for parents and kids. Adults might find the film entertaining, but it's definitely not appropriate for younger children.
Families can talk about...
Families can talk about the overall message of the film: nature versus nurture. What does this film say about the role of money on social behavior? Are people who are born with money more or less likely to commit crimes? How about poor people?