Release Date: May 10, 1991
Starring: Ellen Barkin, Jimmy Smits,
JoBeth Williams, Lorraine
Bracco, Tony Roberts, & Percy
Runtime: Approximately 102 minutes
Distributor: Warner Brothers
Director: Blake Edwards
Producer: Tony Adams
Writer: Blake Edwards
Address Comments To:Mr. Robert A. Daly
Warner Brothers, Inc.
4000 Warner Blvd
Burbank, CA 91522
Invited to a naked hot tub party by three ex-girlfriends who hate him enough to kill him, advertising executive Steve Brooks finds himself in Purgatory when they do just that. The voice of God, a male and a female voice, tell Brooks that though he has earned enough credits to enter heaven, he will instead be sent to hell for his chauvinistic treatment of women. Unless, of course, he can find one woman who truly likes him.
However, Satan lays claim to Brooks' soul and objects to his reincarnation as a man. "What do you suggest?" asks God. "Teach him a lesson," says Satan. "Make him a woman."
Once over the shock of the subsequent transformation into a beautiful blonde, Brooks creates a new identity for himself/herself, as his half-sister Amanda (from "I'm a man"). Via sexual blackmail, Brooks then uses what he knows to get rehired at the advertising agency. He also manages to convince Walter, his best friend and drinking buddy, and Margo, one of the gals who killed him, of his real identity.
The erstwhile lecher soon learns what it's like to have the high-heeled shoe on the other foot, both literally, as he/she stumbles about, and figuratively, as he/she yells: "I'm not a piece of meat!" Yet, the she still fights like a he, and other gags featuring Brooks crossing her legs like a man and so exposing herself are, frankly, in poor taste. Needing to be educated in the wiles of feminine mystique, Brooks approaches Margo and extorts cash from her for a new wardrobe.
With still the mind of a man, Brooks comes on to a beautiful female client, but backs away upon learning she is a lesbian, mainly because of Brooks' so-called homophobia. (This is particularly repugnant, since in subsequent scenes Brooks seeks to overcome his "homophobia"; the film thus implies falsely that homosexuality is OK). In another scene of sexual immorality, Brooks loses his/her virginity to Walter after a night of barroom drinking and brawling.
Margo, meanwhile, plants the gun she used to kill Brooks in his apartment when she hears the body has been dredged up from the river. Arrested, sentenced and imprisoned, the pregnant Brooks comes to feel that God wants her to have Walter's baby. The two marry and later Brooks gives birth to a baby girl. "I think she likes me," Brooks says, before dying.
So how does Brooks end up? As an angel, who must now decide how he/she wants to enter heaven, as a man or woman. "I don't know," Brooks says. "Take your time," says God. "You have all eternity."
Spirit guides, a male/female depiction of God, Satan coming up with a better idea than God (although admittedly this is to get Brooks' soul)--what a mishmash of New Age gobbledygook. Sexual antics in the boardroom, nudity, lesbianism, "homophobia" rebuked--if there is a message in SWITCH to do unto others as you would have them do unto you, it is lost amidst this perverted fantasy sprung forth from what seems like an unregenerate male adolescent mind.
This should not be surprising, for Romans 6 says that the flesh cannot submit to God. Wallowing in substance abuse, drunkenness, murder, and extortion, these unfortunate characters are bound by the law of sin and death. The only way to be lifted out of that cycle is to accept the redemption which is freely available only through Jesus Christ. As verse 6:22 states, "the benefit you reap leads to holiness, and the result is eternal life." This is the way, then, into heaven.