The Change-Up

The Change-Up

What She said:


This movie was simply not what I had expected.  I knew there would be crude humor, but I thought that good writing and a fresh plot would help to make the film a charmer of the level of The 40 Year Old Virgin.  Boy, was I wrong.

Here are the essentials.  The Change-Up is one of those body-swapping comedies, circa Big or Freaky Friday, but with an admittedly raunchy edge.  Jason Bateman plays Dave, an average middle+ class dad who is mentally stretched quite thin between his work and home life.  Ryan Reynolds is, Mitch, his completely opposite friend from childhood, who grew up to become a vice-ridden and womanizing sleaze-bag.  Oh, he also happens to be a struggling actor who can only get ridiculous work.  Anyway, one day these guys get drunk, pee into a fountain, and boom, they wake up the next morning in eachother’s bodies.  And that’s all you really need to know.

While it’s fun to watch Reynolds and Bateman play one another’s characters, it also makes you feel pretty bad.  I mean, Mitch is really gross—like, a sick person gross.  And so when I see poor Dave trapped in his body, forced to do his repulsive work, then I really pity him.  Leslie Mann, who is usually refreshing in these types of comedies, falls flat as well.  She plays Dave’s wife, and seems somewhat self-centered and irrational. 

I think the crude in this movie just goes too far.  It’s well beyond the territory of poop jokes.  Some of the things they run with are repulsive enough to leave a really bad taste in your mouth.  And yet there comes a point where they try to inject some heart into the storyline.  Well, it doesn’t work.  They’ve gone so far by then that the viewer doesn’t care about any possible character growth, they’re just wondering if there really are people out there as warped as these individuals.

I laughed several times in this movie.  Some were genuine, others were just laughing at the absolute absurdity of it all.  Chucking to myself while saying, “Wow, they’re really going to go there?”  I just sort of felt uncomfortable at the end of it.  Between this and The Green Lantern I’d say this is two strikes for Ryan Reynolds in 2011.  He needs to hang out with Sandra Bullock a little more.

Thumbs down.

What He said:


Despite some abysmal reviews, I always thought this movie looked kind of funny. I know the trailer made me laugh and even after tanking at the box office, I still wanted to check it out.  Plus, who doesn’t appreciate a good body-switching comedy? This one appeared to be only I can think of that seemed to be taking a little edgier approach to its humor. In a genre that includes Freak Freaky, Vice Versa, Like Father Like Son, and many more, I welcomed the opportunity for some more adult humor.

Well it looks like I have to agree with the critics this time around, because this one wasn’t so hot. Yes, I did laugh several times, but when I sat back and thought about it a lot of my laughter was at the shock of how bizarre, awkward, or downright uncomfortable this movie was. Weird CGI babies, jokes that fell flat, and situations that simply made you say “What am I watching?” were scattered throughout this movie.

This is probably one of the shortest reviews I’ve ever written and I wish I could give you more, but I really don’t have anything else to say about this movie. It's as shallow as my review of it.

Rating: Thumbs down.

This movie review was written for your reading pleasure on December 15, 2011.