“Change of Place”: Rick Springfield Goes Abroad

Jul 20th, 2004 | By | Category: Columns

So, I recently caught a cable extravaganza called Change of Place. The title is so hilariously bland that you can only imagine what further horrors were in store for me.

You don’t have to imagine, actually, because I wrote them down. So, I suppose that “for me” really meant “for you.” Sorry about that.

Once upon a time someone made a movie about twin sisters. One is a supermodel, and one is an art history major at the College for Girls Who Look Like Lifetime-Movie Supermodels, and when the supermodel twin has to go into rehab, she comes running to her studious sibling. It will ruin her career if people know! (I really think the best way to network in that business is to go to rehab – you meet the best contacts there – but this is Lifetime.)

In a shocking plot twist for anyone who has never actually seen a movie before, the art history sister agrees to take her supermodel sister’s place. One of them is named Kim, and since the supermodel sister disappears for the next 87 minutes of this 90 minute film, we’ll call the main twin Kim. Good call. Journalistic integrity, we salute you.

So, Kim hops a plane for whatever fictional country models live in (Bulemia. Hahahah! It’s funny because it’s a joke about eating disorders. And models are skinny. Bulemia). She spends the next ten minutes on the Supermodel Montage, during which she answers to the name “Dominique” and runs languidly through some of Paris’s very flat, picturesque streets. I suppose she’s exercising, though given the fashions we see later I think she’s wasting her time. All of this, of course, is Rocky-esque preparation for the Big Career-Making Show for the Big Fashion House

The owner and manager of this fashion house?

Rick Springfield.

That’s right. Rick Springfield. Just let that soak in for a minute. Maintainer of the Fashion House of Springfield. The first fashion show is a wild success, if by “wild success” you mean “a series of outfits made out of huge scarves since the costume budget was obviously squeezed from the ten pairs of black ankle boots Kim has to wear.” There’s a supposed rivalry between Kim/Dominique and an especially catty model, but it’s so contrived that the actresses are reading their barbs off the backs of their hands, so I will take the hint and not mention it again.

Naturally, now that the Big Scarf Fashion Show is underway they really have to get to work, and during a fashion shoot in a museum, Kiminique gets caught out saying something with historical relevance. Rick Springfield muses to his Elderly Father Figure, “There’s something different about her.”

Like her inflection, and her posture, and her body language, and her degree. And her being a different person.

Now, you may be thinking, “How can this go on? Surely the schlock levels are so brilliantly high that nothing more can be done! This review must stop!” Or, you may be thinking, “I should see my doctor about this rash.” However, I’ll only be addressing the first of these two questions.

Seems this magical country is France, the sort of France that only exists in Lifetime Movies, which means everything is in English, including the names of establishments, with exceptions like Le Bistro. Rick Springfield lives in a huge chateau in the middle of Paris, complete with acres of gardens, and a sister! The sister has a very heavy French accent. Also, about 60 minutes into the film she has a baby. Both of these things make her presence in Rick Springfield’s house very questionable.

Of course, there’s an evil Englishman named Jacques who wants to *gasp!* STEAL RICK SPRINGFIELD’S DESIGNS. He is British, for those of you keeping score at home. Naturally, booze-swilling Katinique had been deeply involved in this nefarious scheme, and it’s up to the mineral-water Kiminique to foil his plan! This movie does a hilariously straight-faced job of making a designer rip-off the equivalent of using kittens as placeholders in nuclear fission experiments. Obviously, the screenwriter has never visited a Gap.

Kiminique saves the day, of course, and manages a perfectly good explanation for her felony fraud, so Rick Springfield is happy. In the last two seconds of the film they reunite in the museum and kiss. An American tourist sniffs, “The French. They’re not like us!” His wistful wife replies, “Yeah.”

And then I realize I have just lost 90 minutes of my life. Dear readers, I walk these mean streets so you don’t have to.


Genevieve is a prolific writer of speculative fiction living in New York, but you’ll never find her there because millions of people live there and Genevieve likes her privacy. Examples of her fiction can be found in Strange Horizons, Fantasy Magazine, Federations, and numerous other magazines and anthologies. Her first novel is forthcoming in 2011. Also? She has terrible taste in movies.

Tags: ,

Comments are closed.