Like Father Like Son (1987 film)
|Like Father Like Son|
Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Rod Daniel|
|Produced by||Brian Grazer|
|Written by||Steve Bloom|
|Music by||Miles Goodman|
Jack N. Green
|Edited by||Lois Freeman-Fox|
|Distributed by||TriStar Pictures|
|Box office||$34.4 million|
Chris Hammond is a high school senior. He likes a girl at school (Lori) who happens to be dating his rival and bully Rick. His father, Jack, is a very successful surgeon and working hard to get a promotion to the position of the chief of staff at his hospital. He also wants his son to become a doctor as well, but Chris is not interested. Chris's friend, Clarence "Trigger", has an uncle Earl who had been bitten by a snake whilst in the desert. Earl had his leg fixed by Native Americans with a body-switching potion called the "Brain-Transference Serum". Trigger shows Chris how the Brain-Transference Serum works by trying it out on Chris' cat and dog, and the pets switch bodies. Trigger brought the Brain Transference Serum in a Tabasco sauce bottle, and the Hammond's housekeeper Phyllis finds the bottle and puts it in the food cupboard. Jack unwittingly puts it in his Bloody Mary. The serum works by someone ingesting it, then the next person that looks into their eyes switches bodies with them. As Jack looks into his son's eyes while having a disagreement over a C grade on an important test, the father and son switch bodies.
Trigger states he will get in contact with his uncle Earl in order to find a way for the two to switch back, but Earl has just left for another trip. Chris goes to town in his dad's body, using his dad's credit card to shop and party with Trigger along for the ride. He bumps into his dad's boss's wife while out in a bar, but he doesn't realize who she is. She comes on to him and he accepts. In the morning Jack in his son's body and Chris in his father's body woke up screaming and realize they are not dreaming. Jack is upset that Chris got drunk in his body and chews him out and tries to punish him for it. The next day Jack goes to school in Chris's place and Chris can't leave the house or go to Jack's job. Chris called Jack's office to call in sick for a few days. Jack's boss Larry goes to Jack's house to check on him and sees him feeling better. Jack gets called in to work at the private hospital where his dad works, and he ends up handing out a bunch of pills to patients while doing rounds. He also seconds a motion proposed by his dad's colleague, suggesting that the hospital could treat patients with no insurance; in Chris' words, the hospital should "screw the insurance".
Meanwhile, Jack has problems of his own in Chris' body. At school, his knowledge of the schoolwork and his willingness to point out troublemakers in class has him shunned by his fellow students. He takes his son's girlfriend Lori to a concert, but does not enjoy himself, finding the music too loud. He fails to perform at the big relay race, dropping the baton and attempting to dive to the finish line and coming up far short. Rick later beats him up because of the track meet and taking Lori out.
They finally get in touch with Earl, who explains that they can get the antidote if they go on a trip to Death Valley. After a few hiccups they finally find the key ingredient for the antidote. Trigger's uncle Earl makes it up and they drink it; however looking into each other's eyes, does not immediately work. Earl explains it can sometimes take a while to work. It finally works as Jack in Chris' body is running late for a meeting; he slips on the wet floor and knocks a woman out of the window at school. Chris in Jack's body is on his way to a meeting about his dad becoming Chief of Staff at the hospital, which won't happen now that Jack's boss found out what Chris did with his wife while in Jack's body. Now back in their own bodies, both of them race to the hospital, although Chris takes time to knock out Rick. They go in Jack's car, wrecking it along the way. Chris speaks up at the Chief of Staff meeting to try and persuade his dad's boss to give his dad the job, but his boss won't hear it. Jack walks in at this point and says he doesn't want the Chief of Staff job anymore; he would much rather spend the overtime with his son instead. They go home, but on the way out, Trigger sees Rick and gives him the Brain-Transference Serum. The next person that looks into his eyes is none other than Jack's employer; Dr. Larry Armbruster.
- Dudley Moore as Jack Hammond
- Kirk Cameron as Chris Hammond
- Margaret Colin as Ginnie Armbruster
- Catherine Hicks as Dr. Amy Larkin
- Patrick O'Neal as Dr. Larry Armbruster
- Sean Astin as Clarence / Trigger
- Camille Cooper as Lori Beaumont
- Micah Grant as Rick Anderson
- Bill Morrison as Uncle Earl
- Skeeter Vaughan as Medicine Man
- Larry Sellers as Navajo Helper
- Tami David as Navajo Girl
- Graeme MacDonald as Navajo Boy
- Maxine Stuart as Phyllis, Hammonds' Housekeeper
- David Wohl as Dr. Roger Hartwood
- Michael Horton as Dr. Mike O'Donald
- Bonnie Bedelia (uncredited) as Lady with Gum in Hair
The film received negative reviews, particularly by famed film critics Gene Siskel and Roger Ebert. Ebert called it "one of the most desperately bad comedies I've ever seen", but Siskel showed even more aggressive derision and hatred towards the film, calling it a "cheap marketing decision masquerading as a comedy".
The film debuted at No. 2 behind Fatal Attraction.
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Like Father Like Son was released on VHS in 1988 and re-released in 1991. The DVD was released by Columbia TriStar Home Entertainment in 2004. The Double Feature 2-DVD Set with the film and Vice Versa by Columbia Pictures was released on October 7, 2008 by Sony Pictures Home Entertainment.