Writer/director Heather Fink knows she’s on shaky ground making a body swap movie because it’s been done to death. She acknowledges this by callbacks to Freaky Friday and Big in the script as her characters come to grips with the magical consequences of using a demon enchanted biologically improbable sex toy to spice up their sex life.
Ryan (Marshall Stratton) is a precious millennial male, as are his buddies. These are guys who disparage women and boast of their sexual prowess in their boys club locker room talk and then pivot immediately to discussion of the finer points of top notes on the latest hoppy home-brew beer.
“In many ways the couple had swapped roles long before inserting the gypsy’s demon vibrator wherever it went…”
Ryan is fussing about his life goals, watching the relationship clock, looking to check the engagement and marriage box on his progress sheet.
Stephanie (Heather Fink) is a slob, has a higher sex drive than Ryan, and is not interested in rushing into marriage. She finds the constant marriage talk to be a girl-boner killer.
In many ways the couple had swapped roles long before inserting the gypsy’s demon vibrator wherever it went, which muddies the water a bit when they actually do swap bodies. She winds up being more masculine in his body than he was.
Ryan in Stephanie’s body is losing his shit while Stephanie wants to explore and find out what it is to be male. She suggests they spend one day in each others skin to get a sense of the world from that perspective. Hilarity-ish ensues. Or at least a wry chuckle here and there.
My favorite character is Tina (Ying Ying Li), a close friend of the couple who’s curious and all-in for exploring the implications of the swap. Nothing really comes of that. Fun, funny, and sexy possibilities with Tina are left unexploited on the table there.
“This film is the person at a party who’s not quite drunk enough to tell their dirtiest joke, but it’s clear they want to.”
As it turns out, a 2017 version of grown up Freaky Friday does have something to say about relationships, sex, and love. Ultimately Ryan and Stephanie are likable characters and we pull for them to resolve the issues they had before and during the exchange of souls.
The film has a definite Indie aesthetic, it’s refreshingly informal. For a movie that clearly wants to be an unselfconscious 2017 sex farce, it comes off as awfully shy about showing nudity (none) and sex (very little). It’s not in any way an erotic film. This film is the person at a party who’s not quite drunk enough to tell their dirtiest joke, but it’s clear they want to.
I’m not sure Inside You adds much to the ageless human discussion of male and female roles, and is certainly derivative, but it has humorous moments and good performances.
Inside You (2017) Written and directed by Heather Fink. Starring Heather Fink, Marshall Stratton, Ying Ying Li.
6 out of 10