I know we said that Jane Lynch’s X-Files episode would be our first Jane Lynch Project project, but fellow Jane fan and one of our earliest fans, Marie, beat us to it and watched a rather critically de-claimed late 1980s movie called Vice Versa. This movie seems to be notable for two things: despite its general poor performance at the box office, it nonetheless did not stop the train that was Fred Savage from becoming the definition of pre-teen angst as Kevin Arnold in The Wonder Years; and, hello, one of Jane Lynch’s earliest speaking roles! A slightly edited version of Marie’s review follows. Marie gets full credit for the screengrabs of Jane ushering in political correctness while quietly shattering the corporate glass ceiling with Lucy Ricardo’s layered-artichoke poodle pouf. We love that Marie put this together and invite you to send us more of your reviews of Jane’s scene burgling!
Title: Vice Versa
Character type: Assistant to an authority figure
Best line: “Salesperson, Mr. Avery.”
Tags: The Jane Lynch Project, vice versa
Today on the Jane Lynch menu: Vice Versa from 1988, number 133 on the Lynch List and her first genuine appearance on the big screen, since the only copy of number 134, Taxi Killer, belongs to Meryl Streep and she ain’t sharing. (All this and much more is explained in Jane Lynch’s hilarious “Off the Cuff” interview with Peter Travers.) Vice Versa is a body-switch comedy (à la Freaky Friday), which stars Judge Reinhold as a workaholic executive vice president of a big department store in Chicago and Fred –Kevin Arnold- Savage, who plays his neglected son. Uproarious fun ensues and valuable life lessons are learnt when the two miraculously switch bodies. (Incidentally, years later Savage would direct Jane Lynch in a number of Party Down episodes.)
Jane Lynch as Ms. Lindstrom (personal secretary to the department store’s president and dressed the part in a 1980s power suit + requisite enormous shoulder pads) appears for a few minutes halfway through the movie when she and a bevy of bespectacled male execs accompany said boss to the store’s music department to stare incredulously at Judge Reinhold (or rather, Fred Savage’s character inhabiting Judge’s body) as he demonstrates his mad drum skills to an ecstatic crowd of shoppers. “You are not a salesman, Mr. Seymour!” Judge’s furious superior shouts. “Salesperson, Mr. Avery,” Ms. Lindstrom dryly corrects him.
And there you have it: Jane Lynch’s first line, delivered in the way only she can. It’s great to discover that in spite of the rather unsettling permed fringe and Grace Kelly chignon the unmistakable Lynch smirk, snark and spark is already there. Scene stolen? I most certainly think so. (FF to 0:40:40)