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  • This film, directed by Sondra Locke, suffers from the plodding pace that is all-too-familiar in movies helmed by "serious" female directors. With essentially no comic relief, TRADING FAVORS crawls from beginning to end, getting no help from the anemic Devon Gummersall (from the TV series FELICITY), who delivers passionless rote in the male lead. Rosanna Arquette is another matter, however. At age 38 when this was filmed, her appearance in a prolonged topless bathtub scene shows that physically she is in her prime, and her acting is just as superb as her looks. It is a shame she gets little or no work in big-budget movies, to which she could bring a good measure of class and glamour.
  • The most obvious flaw...horrible, horrible script. This movie had a potentially good story, but it was ruined with bad dialogue, continuity problems, things that were never explained, gaping plotholes, sub-plots that went nowhere, and just plain stupidity. Not to mention the awful, cliched directing of Sandra Locke. Not even two great performances could've saved this movie. So it didn't matter that Devon Gummersall and Rosanna Arquette give horrific performances. The thing is, they're better actors than this movie would have you believe. The best of the Arquettes, Rosanna Arquette (Silverado, After Hours, Desperately Seeking Susan) has some fine moments - like a great scene in the beginning when she painfully pulls her handcuffs off - but gives an overall weak performance, by her standards. And Devon Gummersall (Dick, When Trumpets Fade, and the brilliant My So-Called Life) is much worse, acting with no conviction or emotion what-so-ever. But I won't lay blame on the actors, who have been good in other roles. The script is awful, and the bad direction doesn't help. Do me a favor...avoid this movie.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    I would agree with another viewer who wrote that this movie recalls the offbeat Melanie Griffith/Jeff Daniels comedy, "Something Wild," in which a rather eccentric free-spirit hooks up with a conservative and very orderly young man, and the two pose as a couple and basically, her personality gradually has an effect on him. He looses up and learns to enjoy their short-lived tryst. That is exactly what happens here, except insert convenient store-robbing eccentric, Alex (Rosanna Arquette) in Melanie Griffith's role, and super-cautious teen, Lincoln (the name is no coincidence, played by Devon Gummersall) in Jeff Daniel's part. This movie even shares the same twist and abrupt genre change where the creepy, violent boyfriend suddenly shows up in the end and things end up quite badly. Only, here, instead of it being Ray Liotta playing a throwback to 1950s film goons, it's Peter Greene.

    The story is about a teenage kid who is in his own little world. He has some sort of fascination with death following his brother's suicide, and his parents have disconnected, too, behaving quite strangely (the mother is convinced Christmas will be arriving shortly, despite it being August). Then, on a night out with the "guys" (one of whom is played by Jason Hervey of the Wonder Years) trying to buy them beer, he runs into Alex who decides to kidnap him and his friends car (with his permission of course), and they take off for mini-adventure across the deserts of the West Coast, robbing convenient stores in Robin Hood sort of fashion and of course, indulging in the routine self-discovery as each asks more about the other's life. But, Alex has left behind a partner in her trade of theft, and he isn't going away easily. Although, we're not consistently reminded of him or anything as in repetitive flashback or cutting over to his point of view. At least this much was done cleverly.

    'Do Me a Favor' (aka Trading Favors), is a mostly underdeveloped story of criminal mischief and self-discovery that lags quite a bit for the first half of the film, but delivers the goods a little to late once Alex and Lincoln arrive at her home out in the middle of nowhere. By the time the filmmakers give you enough stimulation, the film is unfortunately, almost over. I would recommend that if this is the sort of story you're in the mood for, and despite Rosanna Arquette always giving a good performance (even in a poorly written film), I would still recommend catching this in its best form, "Something Wild."
  • High school nerd meets free spirit/jailbroke Rosanna Arquette and sets out on crime spree and journey of life. Similar to HIT AND RUN and SOMETHING WILD, it turns very mean and bloody in the last 20 mins, when Arquette's thug boyfriend shows up. Alanna Ubach has nice cameo as white trash bar pickup, but the scene is as pointless as the rest of the picture. Arquette's character is more annoying than appealing (remember her GREAT cameo in the otherwise blah TVM THE 60s, as an SF hippie chick? inspired casting). Pretty poor, except for a few minutes with Ubach, and of course Rosanna in the tub.
  • Although this is a good story with a few surprising twists to keep you watching, if it were not for Rosanna Arquette this movie would not be worth seeing.