Friday, July 30, 2021

The Exchange Review: A Hilarious And Biting Movie About Friendship And Stereotypes

Ed Oxenbould	...	Tim Avan Jogia	Avan Jogia	...	Stéphane Justin Hartley	Justin Hartley	...	Rothbauer Jennifer Irwin	Jennifer Irwin	...	Sheila Paul Braunstein	Paul Braunstein	...	Glenn Jayli Wolf	Jayli Wolf	...	Brenda David Huband	David Huband	...	Herb Rest of cast listed alphabetically: Jack Beeston	Jack Beeston	...	Craig Tomas Chovanec	Tomas Chovanec	...	Todd Mikael Conde	Mikael Conde	...	Soccer Player Victor Cornfoot	Victor Cornfoot	...	Ivan the Farmer Findlay James Davies	Findlay James Davies	...	Young Teen Boy Rodrigo Fernandez-Stoll	Rodrigo Fernandez-Stoll	...	Kevin Emily Galley	Emily Galley	...	Beauty Queen Avelyn Graye	Avelyn Graye	...	Canadian Mom

Release date: July 30, 2021
Running time: 95 minutes
Written By: Tim Long
Directed By: Dan Mazer
Starring: Ed Oxenbould, Avan Jogia, Justin Hartley, Jennifer Irwin, Paul Braunstein, Jayli Wolf, David Huband

In The Exchange, a socially awkward but highly enterprising teenager decides to acquire a "mail order best friend"; a sophisticated exchange student from France. Instead, he ends up importing his personal nightmare, a cologne-soaked, chain-smoking, sex-obsessed youth who quickly becomes the hero of his new community. 

Kathryn Greenwood	...	Mrs. Fleming Sofie Holland	Sofie Holland	...	Mary Patti Hovey	Patti Hovey	...	Townsperson Eldon Hunter	Eldon Hunter	...	Teacher Corgand Janeway-Svendsen	Corgand Janeway-Svendsen	...	Faux Stephane Gavin Johnstone	Gavin Johnstone	...	Cecil Madelyn Keys	Madelyn Keys	...	Kim Melanie Leishman	Melanie Leishman	...	Diane Brandon Oakes	Brandon Oakes	...	Neil Crowfoot Ryan Pedersen	Ryan Pedersen	...	Trumpet Player Ivan Peric	Ivan Peric	...	Geoff Jack Quail	Jack Quail	...	Dwayne Raphaël Roberge	Raphaël Roberge	...	French Tim / Jean-Claude Carlos Sanchez	Carlos Sanchez	...	Canadian Teen Carlos Sanchez	Carlos Sanchez	...	Canadian Teen Shant Srabian	Shant Srabian	...	Dr. Moe River Waterstone	River Waterstone	...	Band Musician John Andrews	John Andrews	...	Police Detective (uncredited)
The Exchange has an amazingly biting sense of humor and although it is set in the 80s, it has plenty of relevance in today's world.  The crux of this film is the great cast and the wonderful setting that it takes place in.  Set in a small Canadian town, the film makes full use of the small town charm and interesting characters to tell this tale.  But the best part of this movie is the camaraderie (and friction) between the two newly made brothers.  Both Oxenbould as Tim and Jogia as Stéphane are a lot of fun to see on screen.  And despite the fact that Tim has moments that are infuriating in how socially awkward he is, in the end I did like his character.  And many people from small towns can probably relate to his frustration and dislike of some aspects of his childhood. 

But the creme de la creme is Jogia as Stéphane, who is so insanely over the top that you can't help but laugh.  I love his lack of understanding about some strange aspects of American life and his insights that delivered through the lense of a foreign eye.  And wow is he funny.  The small town itself has some wonderfully humorous situations, some limited to a small town and some that are universal.  But overall this is a thoroughly funny movie.  

But what also makes the Exchange so special is that it touches on relevant topics of acceptance and friendship.  I loved the film's focus on stereotypes and how it subtly chips away at those.  Each character has some vision of how the other person should have been and none of them match that.  And the movie isn't afraid to approach racism head on, but despite the overall humorous nature of the film.  And the journey of this film does feel incredibly personal through all of the ridiculous humor and raunchy situations.  It makes for a wildly entertaining ride that will touch both your funny bone and your heart.  But if anything makes you laugh, the end credits scene is just pure hilarious brilliance. 

The Exchange's wonderful setting and cast, ridiculous situations, and biting humor will touch both your funny bone and your heart.  Très magnifique!

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The Exchange is available digitally and on demand on July 30, 2021.  

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