Tuesday, August 9, 2011

The Change-Up

The Change-Up is another variation on the body-change comedy starring Ryan Reynolds as Mitch, a single slacker, and Jason Bateman as his friend Dave, a married father of three. One evening after hanging out at a bar watching a sports game, they both urinate in a fountain and exclaim how they envy each others lives.

As it turns out, that fountain was magic and they wake up the next morning in each others bodies. Unfortunately, it could not be a worse time as Dave is involved in a merger at work and Mitch is about to get his big break out role in movies, which turns out to be a "lorno" (light porno). However, the fountain has been moved and they have to live each others lives until they can find the fountain.

Mitch rises to the occasion and works very hard on the merger after screwing it up, and Dave gets to enjoy life without the pressures of marriage and parenthood. Mitch also encourages Dave to go on a date with Sabrina (Olivia Wilde), who thinks he is actually Mitch, because he only dated one woman in his entire life.

Mitch and Dave also get a chance to see how their loved ones really feel. Dave realizes that is wife (Leslie Mann) is very unhappy in their marriage because he works too much and hasn't paid enough attention to her and the kids. Mitch has a conversation with his father (Alan Arkin), who he has not always gotten along with well, but learns that he loves him despite his goof-ups. In the end, Dave and Mitch learn to appreciate their lives and finally find the fountain so they can switch back into their own bodies.

Although The Change-Up did have funny moments, a lot of the humor was very childish and over the top. It relied too much on nudity and bathroom humor instead of finding more sophisticated ways to be humorous. Also, the concept of a body switch comedy is not exactly original. The audience was able to empathize with Leslie Mann's character, fortunately, because otherwise she would have just been the typical nagging wife in a buddy comedy. The Change-Up isn't a bad way to spend a lazy summer afternoon, but it's not at the level of classic R-rated comedies like The Hangover, Knocked Up, or Wedding Crashers.

Rating: 2 1/2 out of 5 stars

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