Why is The Economist publishing a critique of an Eddie Murphy/Dan Ackroyd movie from 1983? Because although some people consider it a Christmas movie, it’s actually a New Year’s Eve movie. And a New Year’s Eve scene from the movie makes us tackle the challenge of troubling and offensive art of the past.
“Trading Places” is a Janus-faced contradiction, reaching backwards to old prejudices yet in other ways modern. It is still very funny, but not funny enough https://t.co/vAtvYgydph
— The Economist (@TheEconomist) January 7, 2022
The author’s name is hidden behind a paywall (perhaps on purpose?) so we’ll just have to credit it to The Economist, which reports:
… there are lots of cringe-inducing moments: racial stereotyping, explicit and vicious racism that is presented as reprehensible but played for laughs, casual homophobia, a caricature Irishman and gratuitous nudity.
Most important are the two moments when, startlingly, Mr Murphy breaks the fourth wall, looking directly at the camera and through it at the audience.
In these frames Mr Murphy’s expression is defiant, infinitely unsurprised, accusatory, coldly furious: a wordless, powerful indictment of racism—including the viewer’s. These fleeting, jolting seconds seem to belong to another movie entirely.
From this editor’s memory, the gratuitous nudity was not cringe-inducing.
— 🏴JJ ⚾ (@jeffery410) January 7, 2022
Whoever wrote this must be great fun on a night out…….
— Giac (@GiacomoG990) January 7, 2022
— Password is Taco (@pw_is_taco1) January 8, 2022
If I hadn’t already cancelled my subscription last month I’d cancel it over this.
— Chris Newbury (@cjnewbury) January 8, 2022
Trading Places was, and is, a very funny movie. Maybe try just having fun.
— Cynthia (@2pupsonice) January 8, 2022
— Sean O (@Sean_O_914) January 8, 2022
This is what people talk about when they are sitting at the dinner table trying to figure out how they’ll pay their bills
— ryan (@Ryface) January 8, 2022
I’d opt out of a byline too if I wrote this garbage
— worldtree (@PsychTypes) January 8, 2022
This tweet is pollution.
— Maimonides Nuts (@anothersanjak) January 8, 2022
It's actually far funnier than 95% of the "comedies" produced in the last decade. But you do you.
— One Thousand Basis Points Of Light (@belize042) January 8, 2022
Still great, still fun. Offensive to whom?
— Lorenzo Ciorcalo (@rotovisor) January 7, 2022
All I know about Trading Places is it was hilariously funny in its day, is hilariously funny now, and will be hilariously funny in the years to come. End of analysis.
— Camp Freddy (@campfr3ddy) January 8, 2022
There’s a reason I muted @EconUS and I had to break the glass to read this. Ok back to mute-ville you go
— EverythingBubbleCapital™ (@AntiFragileRock) January 8, 2022
— GentlemanMuser (@GentlemanMuser) January 8, 2022
After reading the article… pic.twitter.com/IOBOaoQn5K
— SockstheCat (@SockstheC) January 7, 2022
You. You are the problem here, not the movie.
— Ernie Wallace (@thebigern) January 8, 2022
— Mark (@foles03) January 8, 2022
Your thesis has no legs. Run along, now.
— I.G Mac (@IGMac76) January 8, 2022
DO NOT COME FOR TRADING PLACES. pic.twitter.com/MMe4z3K3lx
— Bankers for Bernie (@BernieBankers) January 8, 2022
This is a stupid take.
— Canadian Cincinnatius (@Can_Cincinnatus) January 8, 2022
Go find something to do.
— Ben (@AndStrats) January 8, 2022
Great I’m collecting my bet that the economist would print the lamest woke analysis of a 38 year old movie. pic.twitter.com/Hl4OAtH6lX
— BearNJ (@jimbearNJ) January 8, 2022
From the article: "Today the film is offensive."
No, it isn't. You're just pussies.
— Michael (@KuixoteKnows) January 8, 2022
You pussies think this is offensive? Try watching Eddie's early stand up. You would melt faster than those Nazis at the end of Raiders of the Lost Ark.
— Enchanted Meat (@EnchantedMeat) January 8, 2022
No kidding. Mr. Robinson’s Neighborhood? Classic.
Director Paul Feig blames ‘the anti-Hillary movement’ for the spectacular cinematic failure that was Lady Ghostbusters https://t.co/YjSkhBoQ32
— Twitchy Team (@TwitchyTeam) May 27, 2020