Second Nature (2017)

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Gender reversal takes on a whole new level in this hilarious comedy from debut filmmaker Michael Cross.

Since they were children, Amanda Maxwell and Bret Johnson have always had a rivalry. Amanda works for Bret, who is the owner of a real estate company in the small town of Louisburg. When the town’s mayor is killed in a car accident, a special election is to be held. Bret puts his name in the running and Amanda finds the opportunity to run against him in an effort to help her grandmother, who lives out in the farmland neighboring town.

When Amanda’s grandmother gives her a mirror she buried as part of a time capsule, little does Amanda realize how much it will change her life. When she confronts Bret that night when he decides as part of his campaign to put strip clubs in town, she wishes men would be like women and Bret wishes women would be like men. Suddenly, the mirror works its magic and both Amanda and Bret find themselves in a world where gender roles are reversed except for the two of them. They have seven days to decide what to do or remain in this “flipped” world forever.

The ”body-switching” subgenre of comedy films has been done to death, especially with films like Freaky Friday, Like Father Like Son, and even as recent as The Change-Up. However, this debut film from Michael Cross takes the subgenre to a whole new level as it is not the two central characters who feel the body swap, but everyone else in their lives who feel the switch from a gender reversal like no other.

Collette Wolfe and Sam Huntington bring their comic flair to the film as the central characters, “frenemies” Amanda and Bret. Don’t expect any romance between these two because they really can’t stand each other at first. Amanda is a more level-headed believer of helping those out in need while Bret is the womanizing type who only cares about pleasing his gender regardless of the opposition. However, in the midst of their little adventure, both Amanda and Bret learn a thing or two that ultimately changes their lives in a more positive manner.

The funny bits truly come in the gender reversal world, renamed Ellensburg, where we see mailman Dex, played by Riley Shanahan, turning into a scorned man of sorts when he thinks Amanda, his love interest, is seeing someone else and is worried that if she becomes the new Mayor, loads of men will swarm her. We see the women solely as cops and construction workers, which is fine considering in today’s society, we are in an equal environment while the men are the househusband types or in the case of one of Bret and Amanda’s co-workers, fixing up the office and all. However, the breakout character is Amanda’s grandmother, played hilariously by Carolyn Cox, as she goes from farmhouse wallflower in the real world to a foul-mouthed, gun-toting, crazy in the reversal world.

Second Nature is truly a fun comedy that takes gender reversal and “body-switching” to a new level with great performances by the cast. If you like “body-swapping” movies, then you should see this one.

WFG RATING: B+

Cross Films present a Mirror Images Ltd. Production. Director: Michael Cross. Producers: Nicholas Gyeney, Michael Cross, and Susan LaSalle. Writers: Michael Cross, J.C. Ford, and Edi Zanidache. Cinematography: Michael Boydstun. Editing: Carol Sangster.

Cast: Collette Wolfe, Sam Huntington, Carollani Sandberg, Carolyn Cox, Riley Shanahan, Amber Wolfe, Kay LaVergne Jaz, Angela DiMarco, Angela Andrews.


The film will be released on DVD, Blu-Ray, and VOD platforms on September 19.

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