Before ‘Change-Up’ There Was ‘Summer Switch’

If you’ve seen the trailer and even seen the recently released movie The Change-Up in theaters chances are you probably recognized the two-people-magically-forced-to-walk-a-mile-in-each-other’s-shoes plot device. That’s because it’s anything but original. As the headline in one review referred to the film starring Jason Bateman and Ryan Reynolds, it’s like Freaky Friday with “lots more poop jokes.”

It’s also a lot like a 1984 After School Special where a father and son trade places for the summer. The movie, Summer Switch, is based on Freaky Friday author Mary Rodgers’ book of the same name so it’s what you would call a sequel to Freaky Friday. In the movie a son dreading another summer at Camp Soonawissakit magically trades places with his movie executive father who wishes he could go back to the carefree days of summer camp. Hilarity (minus any poop) ensues when Ben Andrews (Scott Schwartz) awkwardly tries to navigate a grown-up world as his father and his dad Bill (Robert Klein) brings his cutthroat film industry chops and cigar with him to the world of summer camp.

In the end, the lesson both learn is that being where they are in life isn’t so bad after all. Less than an hour long, Summer Switch is a fun and well-executed twist on a plot device that predates even Mary Rodgers. Her Freaky Friday book, after all, was a re-telling of Vice Versa, a novel first published in 1882.

See a clip from the movie after the jump.

Matt Ralph

Matt Ralph

I'm the editor of Summer Camp Culture and also blog at and I live in the Philadelphia area and went to camps and camp meetings growing up in Ohio, Maryland and New Jersey.

1 Comment

  1. As a member of the cast, this movie is what propelled me into stardom. Not only do I owe it my excessive career but it catapulted me into other sincere projects; such as Malcolm X, partnering with Demi Moore, Burn Notice, Oh and don’t forget Samantha Brown, Providence, MA edition. Summer switched my destiny.
    Class of 1984 PS 187 Uptown Baby

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