Part 1 of a 3-part mega recap saluting the art of the "Gender Bender" film genre.  In part 1, we'll look at the 1991 Blake Edwards film Switch.


Believe it or not, there is a film genre that combines an established genre (comedy or drama, for example) with the science of a good old-fashioned sex change, called the “Gender Bender” genre. My first exposure to the “Gender Bender” genre was the amazingly over-the-top comedy Dr. Jekyll and Ms. Hyde, and the second being the slightly more subtle Switch. And because I just couldn’t resist not recapping one without the other, I decided to put together a 3-part manifesto to salute this lost art of filmmaking. In Part 1, I’ll look at the 1991 film, Switch, in Part 2, I’ll look at Dr. Jekyll and Ms. Hyde, and in part 3, I will double review both movies. Should be interesting, don’t you think?

I should add that I haven’t exactly written a full recap in three years, since I did one on Tales From the Crypt Presents Bordello of Blood, while I was still contributing for retro Given that I’m about to undertake recapping two films, I think this is going to be interesting. We shall see…

So without further ado, Part 1 of the Gender Bender Movie Recap Double Feature - the 1991 comedy directed by Blake Edwards, Switch!

The film starts off with probably one of the more dramatic opening credit sequences for a comedy that I’ve seen in a long time (perhaps ever), a blue sky with many white, fluffy clouds passing by, as the song Both Sides Now plays under the credits. I should note that trying to upload this movie with the song intact to the credits will automatically mute the entire file, as it violates a copyright with Warner Music Group.  So, I had to do my own creative editing, as you will see if you so choose to watch the movie.  Try claiming Fair Use - it's like saying, "I took your song and used the CD jacket as toilet paper."  Can't make 'em all happy, but you can do creative editing.  The opening credits is also is also where I saw probably one of the best uses of quotation marks since my overuse of air quotes:

Yes, you saw it here - the title in quotation marks. I’m wondering what Blake Edwards was going for when he decided quotation marks were a necessary part of the title. The title reminds me of the time myself and a co-worker kept using air quotes in conversation. And on a good day, we still do.

Correct me if I’m wrong, but when do movies use punctuation marks? Last I heard, punctuation was bad luck (after all, Who Framed Roger Rabbit dropped the question mark because it has been known that using a question mark at the end of a film title may jinx the returns. And given this film's returns, maybe punctuation wasn't a great idea.  But, I’m saying too much - let’s keep going!

So, we keep the credits going - it’s a really nice song (too bad you won't hear it). And here’s another moment that caused me to pause the DVD (no, I didn’t buy this movie, I recorded it):

Yes kids, Henry Mancini was alive in 1991! Actually, he died in 1994, so it brings me to wonder if good old Henry was suffering from any kind of delusion that would have caused him to participate in the musical scoring of this film. Probably not, because he did do all of the music for Blake Edwards’ more famous Pink Panther movies. But once again, I’m stalling. Let’s just bring these credits to an end and get the actual movie started.

As the credits end and the actual movie begins, we get a close up of, ugh, a golf ball, and even worse, one of those golf holes that sends the ball back to the person putting it. If you work at a golf course long enough (and have no interest in the game), seeing anything about golf outside of work or repeated viewings of Caddyshack will make you cringe. And we also get this AMAZING ass shot of the guy playing golf. And then he turns around, and it’s even more amazing. It’s Perry King, kids, and I never realized how gorgeous this man was until I saw this movie. He’s been the topic of many a conversation one of my friends and I have had when we discuss this movie.

So, our unnamed Hunk O’Man gets a intercom call from his secretary - she tells him that Margo Broffman is on the line. It’s also at this point that we find out the name of Hunk O’Man - it’s Mr. Brooks. Ok, so we established that he has a name and that I won’t have to keep calling him Hunk O’Man (or HOM) for the rest of the recap…but maybe I‘ll just use it as a co-name. And once he gets on the phone with one Margo Broffman, we find out his first name - it’s Steve. Oh, shit. Ruin the moment by having a guy with my ex-boyfriend’s first name! So, we’ll just assume he’s an asshole like my ex and call it a movie. But since the movie is just starting, I can’t call it a movie yet - no no, I must keep going! And so on I go.

Margo has a proposition for Steve/HOM - she is inviting him to a party on Sunday to “celebrate.” Steve inquires about what they are celebrating, and she says, “You.” And then she proceeds to tell him that Liz and Felicia will be there too. Oh, good, the girls will be there as well! Should be a grand old time, don’t you think? Well, Liz and Felicia are two of Steve’s ex-girlfriends (though I wish one of them was named Allison, it could have been more interesting that way), as is Margo. So, now I’m wondering, what kind of a party is this going to be, besides what Margo told him.

Flash forward to Sunday - Steve Brooks/HOM comes out of the elevator and talks to the security guard, then asks if he can take a few roses from a vase on the desk. The security guard has no qualms about it. So, our really nice looking man does just that. And then he leaves to cab it over to Margo’s place.


He cabs on over to Margo’s brownstone, deep in the heart of a swanky New York City neighborhood (I’ve figured out by this time it’s New York). And after he’s let in, he disperses of the roses - one of Margo, who plants red lipstick kisses on his face, one to Felicia, who hands him a glass of champagne, and one to Liz, who embraces him for kissing. What did this man do to deserve this much attention from a group of adoring women?I’m also going to point out that both movies in the Gender Bender Double Recap are connected by one person - Lysette Anthony. She plays Liz in this film, and Sarah in Dr. Jekyll and Ms. Hyde, though her part is much more substantial and she’s a much nicer person in that film. She’s also blonde by that time. And not thinly concealing her British accent.

But, I’m getting ahead of myself, so let’s keep going!


So, with the hot tub prepared, Steve/HOM liquored up a little bit, and the women scantily clad, the party is set to begin. Margo proceeds to take off her thigh-high pantyhose and throws it to the girls, who rub it all over his face, as he proclaims, “Slick, you are something else!”

Wait a minute…Slick? Who calls a woman “Slick?” Apparently when you’re Steve Brooks, nicknames can be interesting. And manly.

And now they’re tying him up - the women tell him they still hate him for well, being who he is, and when he asks how he will be punished, Margo proclaims that the ladies are going to kill him. And Stupid Steve/HOM proclaims, “What a way to die!” And, that’s when they start, well, killing him….

The girls drown him in the hot tub - that’s right, they shove his head under water and force him to drown. Oh, this is too much fun! And because naked Steve/HOM is a little tipsy, he’s easier to kill. Or so they think…

Liz and Felicia are wet and in shock sitting in Margo’s bedroom, contemplating what they have done. Margo, however, is thinking a little bit clearer and is thinking of a way to dispose of Dead Steve/HOM. But they weren’t prepared for what happens next…

In hops a naked, tied up, wet Steve Brooks, telling the women that they are all “bitches.” So, Margo, being the calm head and doing what any rational ex-girlfriend would do…pulls out a gun and shoots Steve/HOM three times, prompting a quick cut to black.

We then hear a wet flapping noise. And then we see him naked. And wet. I’ll just pause it for reflection.

Still paused.








So, now that I’ve hit play again, Steve takes a huge sniffle and says, “Where am I?”






A male voice replies, “Purgatory.”

Where’s that?

“Between Heaven and Hell.”

So Limbo Steve/HOM (hey, someone is going to appreciate all the names I’ve given him!) asks what is next, and a female voice tells him that he has earned enough merits to get into Heaven, to which Steve replies “Oh, thank God!” And, in a bit of irony, “God” replies “You’re welcome.” It has also come to my attention that “God” sounds a lot like a voice you’d hear on a ride at Disney World. Even the female voice does too. I keep thinking these voices told me to buckle my seatbelt, keep my hands inside the ride, and stop screaming, you’re scaring the other riders already. Oh wait, that was my mom. She told me to shut up and quit screaming.

Excuse me, where was I? Oh yes…

As with any great plan, including the ones that determine where you spend your afterlife, there proves to be a snag…because he’s been so cruel to women, Steve Brooks is given a proposition by the female voice, that he can go back, and try to find one woman who truly likes Steve Brooks. If he finds that woman (lucky gal), he will go to Heaven, and if not, he’ll burn in Hell. Steve thinks this is the best solution to his problem. Did you really think he was going to say it wasn’t ? You’d be nuts to believe otherwise.

Because the compromise is reasonable - find a woman that likes Steve Brooks/HOM for who he is or face eternal damnation - Dead Steve/HOM proclaims that “Back is good,” and so we go into his bedroom at 7:59 am on what I’ll assume is the next morning. Living Steve/HOM is now waking up in his bedroom, and realizes that he is, in fact alive.

He gets up and goes into the bathroom, wearing these slinky silk pajamas that only hot men in movies wear, and proceeds to prepare for the beginning of the rest of his life. But every party has a party pooper, and here is the Blake Edwards version…



“Excuse me, I’d like to lodge a complaint.”

The two exasperated voices from Purgatory both ask, “What is it now?”


The “party pooper” is none other than the Devil. You know him, Beeazalbub (I guess that’s how it’s spelled), Lucifer…SATAN!, the Antichrist…but I digress. And he’s not happy. I mean, he’s royally pissed off - you see, the Devil, who apparently sounds like he’s a scholarly British actor, has been led to believe that he was supposed to have the eternal soul of one Steve Brooks, and believes the compromise is just too easy. He believes Steve Brooks/HOM will be able to dupe a defenseless, naïve woman into loving Living Steve/HOM. He believes that there should be another way to remedy who gets the soul of one Steve Brooks/HOM.

He proposes that Steve needs to be taught a lesson, and that it needs to be impossible to work his macho ways on women. What’s this lesson, you ask?

Make Steve a woman.

Wait, what the heck just happened? One minute, Steve is digging through his pants, and the next, he has long blonde hair and…oh, it’s Ellen Barkin. Wait a minute…Steve’s a she!

So, suddenly, Perry King has vanished, never to be seen again in this film (and we’re only just pushing the ten minute mark at this point), and Ellen Barkin, in all her blonde, skanky-voiced glory (I rank her voice up there with Kathleen Turner’s - it’s just so annoyingly raspy, though I’m sure someone might find it appealing) has suddenly shown up to crash the party. All the women who object, show your discontent.

Mac at the security desk is called because of a blood-curdling screaming coming from his apartment, to which the man at the desk retorts, “What else is new?” Oh, so Steve has sent women into screaming frenzies before?

Mac opens the apartment door, and finds the mystery woman with the blonde hair lying on the floor, and helps her up as she is coming around. He tells her she “must have fainted or something,” to which she replies in her heavy New York accent, “yeah, I must have fainted or something’.”

She’s rubbing her head in an attempt to rub away the pain, but realizes something just doesn’t feel quite right about her noggin. The hair, it just doesn’t seem right…it’s a little too long. So, she slowly turns to the mirror…and gets the shock of her life.

“Holy SHIT!” As if she was really prepared for this…



Mac begins to question the mystery woman as to where Mr. Brooks is, but all she can say is that she doesn’t know what she is doing in this apartment, or how this all happened, but “here I am! Here I am! Here I f***ing AM!”

And when she is finished unleashing a barage of profanities that resulted in the “R” rating for this movie (besides all of the nudity), She comes up with a resolution - she is going to shower, shave, and pull herself together, and that she got up on the wrong side of the bed. She’s saying anything to get this security guard out of the apartment. So, she tells him the excuse of excuses - Steve “had to go away for a while.” Where did he go? Prison? Rehab? Vacation? Nah, we all know where he is, but Mac doesn’t need to know.  If this woman doesn't want to sound certifiable, she won't say anything.

And as soon as Mac leaves her alone, she begins to realize more of herself…she has boobs. Boy does she have boobs. And in the midst of this self-discovery, the phone scares her to death.

And this is where were introduced to the second-billed Jimmy Smits, as Walter. He is calling because it is after ten am, and Steve has not shown up for work yet, so he is wondering where Steve is. So the mystery woman, who keeps wanting to tell Walter that she is Steve, then says, “I’m a man…Amanda….(clever)…Steve’s sister.” Walter then explains that Steve does not have a sister, to which “Amanda” cleverly replies that she’s his half-sister, and that they only just met. Then she proposes that they meet for lunch so she can explain everything to him. Because when you’ve suddenly undergone a sex change and need to explain it, a public place is the best way to do it. After all, there are witnesses.



Fun Fact: Jimmy Smits became a running joke on Mystery Science Theater 3000,when the trailer for this movie billed him as such "Ellen Barkin.  Switch.  Jimmy Smits.  Starts Friday."  His name would come up everytime the word "switch" was said, without making reference to this movie.

Amanda, dressed in Steve’s clothes, heads out of the apartment building shortly thereafter. She’s a woman/man on a mission. Her/his mission takes her to Margo Broffman’s brownstone. She wakes Margo up by talking in her ear, which scares Margo. Amanda then begins to tell Margo something a complete stranger would not know, like how divers will have no trouble finding the body, and that drowning Steve was not enough, so they had to shoot him instead. And that Margo is smarter than those other two bimbos, Liz and Felicia. She also tells her “eyes are the windows to the soul,” and to look deeper.





Margo has a realization that “Amanda” may not be completely nuts. I mean, she knows all of this stuff, and she wouldn’t know this if she wasn’t there. And since we can let her off on a technicality, the scene goes on.

Amanda borrows a dress and some heels from Margo, and proceeds to head to the restaurant that Walter is going to meet her at.



Amanda stumbles into the restaurant wearing heels she cannot walk in (which is precisely how I feel in anything that isn‘t a flat - like for instance, I‘m writing this, and wearing these brown wedge-type shoes that I‘m stumbling around in, when coupled with the disorientation I have from a recent neck injury, makes me look tipsy) and finds Walter. Of course, she proceeds to do the ladylike thing, make a male comment to him immediately, to which Walter makes a face. Amanda then asks if Steve has ever mentioned her, to which Walter replies that he hadn’t. Of course not, why would Steve mention a sister he didn’t know he had (or was) until a short time ago?

Amanda explains that she’s his half sister (different mothers). She then admires a woman’s posterior, which startles Walter into asking if she’s gay. Amanda then says “Pal, if I’m gay, then Clint Eastwood is a transvestite.” Walter then notices there is something about the eyes (and I noticed the personality, I mean, she does act kind of mannish).

Amanda tells Walter that Steve decided to “chuck it all,” and that he was fed up with life, and referenced Goughan (the painter!), and how Goughan ditched it all and moved to Tahiti to paint. And that he seemed depressed. Very depressed. Walter then says that when he last saw Steve, he couldn’t have been happier, because his three ex-girlfriends were throwing him a dinner party.

Back at Steve’s office, his receptionist, Beth says it seems weird that Steve would just disappear like this, and that she couldn’t find anything in his office to justify it.

So, Amanda wanders into his office to look, and conveniently “finds” a note that says that Escapist Steve decided to chuck it all. And the note is in his handwriting. Like I said, how convenient.

Beth begins crying, and says that while she hated Living Steve, she is crying because Amanda calls her “sugar,” something Steve always called her.



Enter Arnold, Steve’s boss, who is mesmerized by Amanda (what man hasn’t been by this point?). He offers Amanda something to drink, and she says that aside from the occasional margarita, she makes it a habit to not drink on the job. Arnold replies that she “sounds just like her brother” (of course, she sits like a “brother” too).

I also cannot help but stare at this guy's Jewfro - I mean, it's terrible, look at it.  LOOK AT IT!

Amanda tells Arnold that he should hire her, and she will get him the “Faxton Account,” and Arnold responds that if she can get him this account, he’d hire her. So, Amanda blackmails him instead, and says to “hire her and I won’t tell your wife about Apartment J.” Smart move. She also says that Arnold pays Steve $200 a year ($200,000) plus fringes, so she’ll take $250 plus. And when he asks why, Amanda gives a great response…

“Because Steve didn’t give you a hard-on.”


Amanda then walks out of the office, and sees Arnold’s secretary, Denise. She asks him if she knew Steve well, and she says yes. So Amanda, while almost letting her breasts hang out, asks for an adjective to describe him, to which Denise replies…


Once again…Niiiiiiiiiiiiiice!

Amanda, discouraged, replies, “That could also be a noun.” To which Denise replies, “major asshole.” And a third time…Niiiiiiiiiiiiiice!

So, Amanda and Walter make dinner plans for sushi and beer. And the scene ends with Amanda almost falling in the high heels in the elevator.


Cut to the next scene - Margo’s “faggot” psychic (Amanda/Steve‘s emphasis). Margo is attempting to get the man to channel the late Steve Brooks, so the psychic channels his Hindu persona, Pasha. Margo keeps insisting that Steve Brooks must be dead if he is reincarnated. The psychic cannot figure it out but explains that he will “investigate” (huh? This is just a persona!) and get back to her. When the psychic reverts back from Pasha, he asks Margo if she has any reason to believe that Steve Brooks may be dead, to which Margo hurriedly brushes the notion off (like she doesn’t know better!). This from the same guy who says Margo was Helen of Troy in a previous life.  A phone call then comes to the answering machine - it’s Amanda, and she wants Margo to come to Bloomingdale’s…quick.

While looking at clothes, Amanda (Sitting like a gent) asks Margo if she thinks certain things will “look good on her.” Margo dryly replies, “there’s not much that wouldn’t,” to which Amanda snappily replies, “I bet you say that to all the boys who become girls.” Zing!

The items purchased total $41,000 and change, to which Amanda asks Margo how she wants to pay for it. She then tells the sales woman, “she never lets me pay for anything. If I tried to, she’d probably shoot me and dump me in the river.” Smooth, very smooth.

And as they’re leaving Bloomingdales, we hear the best irrelevant dialogue in this movie:




“Do you know how many animals were killed to make that coat?”

“Do you know how many rich animals I had to fuck to get this coat?!”

Brings a whole new meaning to “fur is murder,” don’t you think?





Back at Steve’s apartment building, Amanda is questioned about who she is, and if she can prove she’s Steve’s sister, since the day guard didn’t sign her in. She says they met before (he denies this), to which Amanda says memory loss couldn’t start in one’s late forties, and to get it checked. And off she goes in the elevator.



If I told you exactly what happened to Steve Brooks, I'll get thrown in the loony bin.  It's a crazy story, a sordid tale of being a total scumbag and getting offed by three women I wronged in my previous life.  Honestly, this is the devil's doing...


At the restaurant, Amanda, in full male chauvinism, jokes “wow, look at the headlights on that one. Wouldn’t you like to play Hide the Salami with her?” This irks Walter - he doesn’t want to hear that from a woman! They discuss what men and women should be discussing with each other. Walter also tells Amanda that Steve liked kids and dogs. Oh, so I guess he’s not all bad, huh?

Amanda confesses to Walter that Steve envied him (Why? Is he that much nicer than chauvinist Steve was?). She says that Steve said that Walter is a “good guy.”

It is at this point that Amanda is completely plastered and decides to tell Walter that “She’s not who she thinks she is.” Walter is captive at this point (drinking will do this, I’m figuring), Amanda leans in and tells Walter that she’s Steve. And then she explains how this happened to him/her, and what he/she has to do to get to Heaven. Walter is convinced that this is Steve he is talking to, and drunkenly says “Hey, Steve, I still want to f**k your sister.” A smooth move from a supposedly “good guy.”

Cut to a limo, carrying Margo and her new confidants/partners in literal crime - Liz and Felicia. They are trying to brush off the notion that Steve is reincarnated and seeking revenge against these chicks. Amanda then calls Margo and tells her to get her an appointment with Sheila Faxton tomorrow, and when Margo says Amanda sounds drunk, Amanda tells Margo she sounds stoned, saying that she is getting high while worrying about someone finding out what these bitches did.

The next day, Amanda is talking with Beth (Steve’s secretary), and says to get her an appointment with Beth’s hairdresser - she cannot think with all of this long blonde hair - must be hard having so much beautiful hair. She then dials a phone number for a woman named Darlene Wooster (I guess that’s the spelling), a former conquest. Posing as an author, she asks the woman what she thinks of Steve Brooks, and though we can’t exactly hear what she’s saying, I think “asshole” slipped through. So, Amanda hangs up and says, “he didn’t think you were so hot either.”

Amanda then meets Connie, the last woman Steve was sleeping with. She says she liked him “okay,” but then calls him a putz. Connie is a model, and apparently not much of an actress either - she has this dry monotone that makes Sean Young’s flat voice have an ounce of charisma to it. But, that’s a whole other recap away.

Next scene - at a brainstorming session, Amanda discusses an idea for a maple syrup they are working on a campaign for, and Arnold (the boss) says that Amanda’s concept for an advertisement is similar to an idea he had discussed with Steve. Arnold tells Amanda that he had called Steve about having the same idea.

Amanda is then leaving work, and a new partner at the advertising agency, Dan, comes up to her and says they should “team up.” Amanda, all the wiser, says that she knows what he is thinking, and that he will never get her into the sack. And she doesn’t leave before telling him to “switch aftershave. You smell like a salad.”


Arnold then finds Amanda in the lobby and wants to discuss the maple syrup idea over champagne at the park, to which Amanda replies that she’s “allergic to grapes and corporate executives who take credit for other peoples’ ideas.” Wow, I think Amanda/Steve is starting to see the light - being a woman is hard!!!! And to think, she hasn’t had her period yet - there are whole avenues yet to be explored!




And being a woman, she/he finds, keeps getting harder. While exiting a taxi for an appointment with Sheila Faxton, a prospective new client, Amanda gets the typical construction worker catcalls - take this one guy, he’s making kissing sounds at her, to which she turns around and says, “You got a problem, pal?” to which the construction worker replies, “If you don’t kiss me, I’m gonna be sick.” Her comeback? “Then I think we both have a problem. Because if I do kiss ya, I‘m gonna be sick.” Wow…harsh! And to add to it, she takes her purse and slams the amorous asshole in the crotch. Way to go Amanda, you’re seeing the light! She tells him to “have a nice day.”

Amanda is now in the office of Sheila Faxton, played by Lorraine Bracco. Amanda is trying to court Faxton as a new client of Friedkin and Booth (the ad agency she works for). Sheila invites her to a party, and Amanda takes the opportunity to win her over.

As a kid, for one reason or another I believed that Lorraine Bracco and Ellen Barkin were the same person.  I'm not sure why - it's probably the New York accents.  It's not like they look anything alike, but I remember seeing a few different movies they were in, and just being led to believe they were the same woman.

Moving on...

Back at the apartment, Margo is helping Amanda dress for the occasion. She laments that she will never get used to this body. She also will never get used to some of the clothing she must wear, like the body suit Margo hands her.

At the party, Amanda makes a grand entrance - sliding down the banister (classy). Sheila comes up to her, and immediately recognizes the perfume Amanda is wearing as one of her scents, and it makes her sad, as it reminds her of a rough patch in her life (Margo explains in the earlier scene that Sheila dated a French architect that broke up with her, and the scent reminded her of that special someone).

Amanda then recalls the evening’s events to Margo about what she had fantasized as an amazing sexual experience. But, the whole experience leaves Amanda/Steve extremely weirded out. Margo tells Amanda that she couldn’t handle it because Steve is homophobic. Amanda says she will jump off the roof, to which Margo says she should be so lucky. Is she implying that Steve was better off killing himself? It is also in this scene that Margo finally sees the light and realizes that this is Steve she’s talking to - all of the things Amanda is saying are clearly things Steve would say.



Next scene - Amanda is running through Central Park - we know its Central Park because it’s how we always see it in movies filmed directly on location in New York City. She is running and holding her chest, when some jerk runs up next to her and says “Good morning.” You know he’s a jerk, because Amanda, like any rational man who has become a woman by sudden chance, shoves him into the lake.

Then, Dan the lusty louse who is trying to get into Amanda’s panties, is trying to ask Amanda about her opinion regarding storyboards for the commercial. She says they suck, and then goes off into a tirade of how men don’t sympathize with women. She says something about how the commercial is from a typical man’s point of view because women, after all, buy the product. Sounds like PMS to me….or perhaps an epiphany of sorts?

Phone ringing - it’s for Sheila, who is soaking in a tub. She is delighted to hear from Amanda. They make dinner plans for the evening. And because I’m assuming she’s trying to work off a little testosterone, she tells Walter that they are going to the gym, so she can “whoop his ass.”

Turns out they are going to play basketball. She trash talks him and says that he isn’t going to let a girl beat him, right? Of course not! But, in the end, Amanda is no match for Walter, and they high-five on it. He says she played good for a woman, and she tells him not to be so condescending.


Come here, Jimmy Smits, let me show you how manly I can be!  Don't let the feminine looks fool ya - on the inside, I'm all!





Dinner at Sardi’s - Amanda and Sheila go to the restaurant and discuss who is the aggressor, and Sheila says that if Amanda was the aggressor, they wouldn’t have gone to this place. So Sheila asks what Amanda suggests, and the scene cuts to Duke’s Bar and Grille. The women and drunk and Amanda says she enjoyed coming there when she was a man. Oh no, she’s opening up about it! And then she says being a woman is not “half bad.” When a man comes over and makes lewd remarks towards the women, Amanda decides to be “the man” and starts a bar fight. They leave and go to a place where Amanda “can be herself.” Wherever that is. They order more drinks and then begin dancing. At this point, Sheila has given Amanda the account she so desires.

Amanda then confesses that she only came on to Sheila to get the account, which angers Sheila. As Amanda tries to chase after to explain, a much larger woman named Nancy asks if there is a problem, to which Amanda says no. The woman isn’t satisfied, and tries to fight Amanda, resulting in a black eye and, for Steve’s sake, a bruised ego.


What an opportune screen cap - I totally captured the disgust on Ellen Barkin's face!




Amanda is disgusted, obviously, and is now in the bathroom at home, ready to go to bed and forget about this horrible experience of “batting for the other team.”

She spits mouthwash on the mirror, probably used to clean the distate out of her mouth of her first same-sex experience, and examines a black eye she got thanks to that tough chick, Nancy.  Amanda is also wearing those slinky pajamas Perry King wore earlier in the film, you know, the kind sexy men wear in movies (though boxers would have worked just fine).

She throws herself onto the bed, and says, perhaps breaking down the fourth wall, “As you can see, I’m not doing so good. Would it be kosher if I prayed to you for a little help?” She resolves that she is not giving up yet.





He's a scary-looking devil, horns or no horns!




At 3 am, Amanda is awakened by the alarm clock and a smell. The Devil has returned, and he says it's the smell of brimstone, but she'll get used to it. The Devil tells Amanda that her time is up. He tells her that she doesn’t like being a woman, and that women do not like Steve Brooks. He says that she is exactly what a man like Steve Brooks chased after, and that she’d be better off in Hell. It scares Amanda - perhaps this is another epiphany for her? Or perhaps just a nightmare? He proposes a “Rosemary’s Baby” type of scenario, which scares the shit out of her/him…after all, she’s going to have her “periods.” Yes, she said it with an “s.” The alarm then sounds - it was all a bad dream.





The next day, Sheila is at a meeting to announce her cosmetics line’s advertising is going to be covered by Friedkin and Banister, but that she wants Dan (the louse) to be the account executive. Bitch!

Back at her desk, Amanda is on the phone with a Rebecca Sanderson, a former high school classmate of Steve’s. Apparently, we get the same kind of indecipherable speaking that we got with Darlene Wooster. I think I heard “asshole” there too. Walter then comes in, and they make plans for that evening - Duke’s Bar and Grille. After getting a third woman to scream unintelligibly on the phone, Amanda goes to a barber shop for a haircut.

Amanda shows up at Duke’s with a very short (and what I believe was stylish for the time) haircut. Her and Walter proceed to drink and shoot pool. The same guys who messed with her the night before decide they need to exact revenge on this tough woman, and Walter gets involved. It’s a full out barfight. Even a woman punches out Amanda!!!

Amanda then has to carry a drunk and beat up Walter back to the apartment. She's beautiful, and he's drunk...I think we can figure out what may happen next...


Look, honey, no funny business, ok?  I need my beauty rest.  And besides, I'm probably going to have my periods.


The next morning...

A fisherman in the East River comes across a truly interesting discovery…

If you said, “Steve’s still-bound up, shot up, white tanline assed body,” you’re right!








Amanda gets a phone call that morning - apparently she’s still nursing a hangover and remembers Walter is there. No sweat.

Margo is at the building, and she needs to see Amanda. So, Amanda puts on a robe, but when she turns around and sees Walter’s naked ass, she freaks. She asks him why his shorts are off, and he asks her if she remembers when they made love. She hasn’t the slightest clue. Uh-oh.

Margo comes up the apartment to see Amanda, and sees that Walter had been sleeping there. Amanda then goes off into a tirade that Walter raped her, and spouts out statistics about rape. During this time, Margo conceals a gun behind a couch pillow. It’s the same gun Margo used to murder Steve! She then turns on the TV to see a news broadcast about how the body of Steve Brooks was discovered that morning, which scares Amanda. The discovery also prompts a phone call from the police, Amanda punching Walter for asking who was on the phone, and Amanda telling Margo and Walter that she has to identify Steve’s body.

She sees the body, and says “Wow, I look awful.”

She arrives back to her now ransacked apartment, and the building manager tells her that the police found the gun in the apartment. So, Amanda knows where she has to go to exact her revenge.

The three ladies - Margo, Liz, and Felicia - are soaking in the hot tub that was the scene of the original almost-crime. Amanda then shows up and tells Margo that she is not going to take the rap for her own death. So Margo gives her $3000 so she can escape on a plane.

Now, Amanda is on trial for the murder of Steve Brooks. Margo is on the stand - she tells the whole story about how Amanda told her that she was the reincarnated Steve Brooks, and that she knew how Steve was offed. Walter says that she said that “God sent him back, with the purpose of finding a woman who liked him.” And when Amanda takes the stand, she reveals herself to be “Steven Brooks.” It’s a one-way trip to the Nut House for Amanda/Steve Brooks!

Amanda is now talking with Walter at the State Mental Facility about how pissed she is - after all, she’s having his baby! And she says that while she considered an abortion, she then realized that the reason she wasn’t burning in Hell is that God wanted her to have this baby…and then she doubles over in pain. Even this weirdo random nutso extra imitates her! What the hell?!

Look to the left of Ellen Barkin - what the hell is up with this nutso extra imitating her?  I just noticed it the second time I saw this movie, and this totally cracked me up.







In the hospital, Walter tells Amanda that the doctor says that she is suffering from high blood pressure and diabetes, and that these complications could result in her death should she carry the baby to full term. It’s at that moment that Amanda realizes time may not be on her side. Amanda tells Walter that he could never imagine what it is like to have a life inside of you. And that having this baby will be what she/he leaves behind in the world. Finally, Steve is starting to see the light!

So, Walter makes an honest woman out of Amanda and marries her. The witnesses are two men in white coats from the mental hospital.




Walter goes back to work, and Arnold, the boss, tells Walter that he must fire him because his marriage is causing people to talk, to which Walter says he planned on quitting anyway - after all, he has a new baby on the way.


Now jobless, Walter goes to the hospital to see his bride, only to find out she has gone into labor. Dressed in full expectant father hospital gear, he is hovering over Amanda, who grabs his crotch in agony, which also puts him in agony. The labor is difficult, but Amanda then delivers…a beautiful baby girl. You wanted me to say Satan’s spawn, didn’t you?

Amanda grabs onto Walter for everywhere scream and the women all simultaneously yell "THANK YOU!"






Oh, thank you God!!!!  It's a girl, so now I won't have to name my baby Damien!"






Amanda gets to do what all new mommies do - she holds her baby, who looks right at her. Amanda then has her biggest epiphany… she has finally found a woman who likes Steve Brooks. That is enough to cause her to flatline, and her life slips away. Steve Brooks has completed his mission, and it only took nine months.








So, now you’re figuring Steve probably has died and become a man again, but that is not to be. Someone must really hate Perry King to let him disappear like this. We hear voiceovers of God and God talking to Amanda about her goal. Amanda talks about how she wants to see her daughter grow up, and the Gods tell her she will, and then Amanda says she needs a little more time think about what gender angel she wants to be.



It’s now a few years later, and Walter is leading a little girl to a gravesite. The little girl puts flowers on the grave and says “I love you mommy.” Walter wipes away a tear and then leads the little girl on.






We get a close-up of Amanda/Steve's grave stone:

How do you think Walter is going to explain the meaning of the epitaph to his and Amanda’s daughter?

And then the Gods ask Amanda what she wants to be, and Amanda says that being a male feels natural to her, but being a woman has its advantages. She’s stumped, and needs more time. The Gods reply, “You have all eternity.”

Then a reprise of Both Sides Now begins, as the credits roll. I’m wiping my eyes right now, but it’s only because I’m laughing at your hysterical crying.

Nah, I’m just kidding.

So, what have we learned from this movie? 

1. Respect the men/women in your never know what a vengeful male or female may do...

2. Purgatory sounds like a Disney World ride.

3. Even if you get a second chance, there may be a snag in the plans...

4. High heels suck!

5. No matter how hated you are, there will always be someone who likes you for who you are.

Alright, I’ve been slaving over my computer to cut Switch down into parts acceptable for posting to You Tube. If you’re truly fascinated in seeing the events of Steve Brooks’ death and Amanda Brooks’ mission to find a woman who loves him played out, do feel free to click on the link:

Switch (1991) Full Movie Playlist - You Tube

And if you came to this article from watching the movie on You Tube, welcome!

So, you’ve now read the entire first part of the Gender Bender Movie Double Recap. You’ve seen what happens when a chauvinistic man gets a second chance to redeem himself and the Devil intervenes. In the second part, you’re going to see what happens when a man messes with mother nature and conventional science to isolate the gene responsible for human evil. Problem is, it didn’t work in the 1800s, so why should it work in 1995?

Coming soon - part two of the Gender Bender Movie Double Recap - Dr. Jekyll and Ms. Hyde!

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