Title: Christmas Trade.
Year of Release: 2015.
Available On: Tubi via Roku as of 06/2018.
Rating: 2.5 out of 5 Jingle Bells.
Have you seen Freaky Friday? Then you’ve seen this movie. Switch the genders and the setting and that’s about it. There’s also a thread of Dead Mother woven through this one. And if there’s one thing I like, it’s a truthful depiction of grief, which I think this one actually does somehow! This movie stars one of my least favorite Baldwins, Billy – who apparently prefers to be billed as “William” these days. He’ll always be Billy to me.
In this version of the movie, there’s a terrifying Christmas Bear whose eyes light up when the magic happens. When they call the folks on the bear’s tag, Tom Arnold shows up to take care of the issues – “to fix [the] bear.” Things get interesting when they hear that the effect, switching bodies, will last a few days longer than expected. Robbie (Michael Campion) has to figure out how to navigate his high-powered lawyer father out of career ruin AND Mitch just might figure out how to have some fun in his life.
For me the worst part is when Robbie tells of Francis, his bully. We’re supposed to be on Robbie’s side, but call me crazy, I feel really bad for the bully! How’s he supposed to go up against a full-grown adult who happens to be inside a kid’s body? Robbie thinks so too, and he apologizes to Francis:
Francis: Why are you being so nice to be all of a sudden?
Robbie: Something my dad always says, every problem is just an opportunity in ugly clothes.
Francis: Are you saying my clothes are ugly?
As you can see, the writing isn’t the best. But the production is good, we already know the general plotline is solid, and all told it’s not the worst among the genre.