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The Change-Up

A movie directed by David Dobkin

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The Change-Up... a new take on the body-switch comedy that never should have happened

  • Aug 2, 2011
When it comes to body-switch comedies most people think of family films like Freaky Friday, Big, 17 Again, and even, The Hot Chick.  This weekend we get a new take on this old storyline, but the success or failure of The Change-Up is up for debate.  From the director of Wedding Crashers and the writing team that brought us The Hangover, one would think that a grown-up take on the otherwise family friendly genre, would have potential to be a success. The Change-Up, however, takes the risk of being so over the top and inappropriate that it borders on the side of an epic failure.  From poor pacing and characters, that are just plain irritating, I’m sorry to report that there is very little to give praise.  Having been a fan of the original Hangover and just about any project involving Jason Bateman, I was extremely excited to see this film, especially, having just having come off the amazingness that is Horrible Bosses.  Unfortunately, I feel that with this film, the writing team just shot themselves in the foot and put the final nail in the coffin when their latest round of TV spots were released.

Having added only one line to their new 30-second spots, it is almost a plea for people to avoid this film like the plague.  I mean, let’s be honest here, if you hear “The director of Wedding Crashers and the writers of The Hangover take the body-switch comedy where it's never gone before" would you really go running to the theater to check out the film?  Personally, every time I hear that line I get chills from the scheer memory of how horrible this film is and the pain that I suffered watching it.  

Don’t get me wrong, if you are a fan of bad jokes made in poor taste that are delivered back to back with no time to recover, than I’m sure you will enjoy this film but the overall shock value of the dialogue is caked on so heavily that there is no time to recover and truly appreciate the joke (if there is one).  Truth is, the entire time I sat in the theater I seriously wished I could just reach over and smacked the stupid out of Reynolds character because it was so beyond what I was willing accept.  All the while I was watching, I had only one hope and that was, that something might happen that would actually make me care for one of the characters, but sadly Bateman’s Dave Lockwood was so likeable, I wanted him to mess up somewhere and try to live a little, while Reynolds’ Mitch Planko was such an ass I just wanted someone, if not on screen, than off screen, to beat him up.  What makes all of this worse is that Bateman was on such a career high that he was overdue for a bad film, and poor Reynolds is still riding off one relatively bad box office film, Green Lantern, and I was hoping this might be a step in the right direction.  I can only hope that these good actors in bad films, will be short lived, because each  deserves better roles than those provided in The Change-Up.  

Overall I would recommend a pass on The Change-Up this weekend.  If you are looking for a good comedy and have not yet seen Horrible Bosses that would more than make up the gaping hole brought on by David Dobkin’s latest film.    I give The Change-Up a 1.5 out of 5 and highly recommend that the guys out there do not take their ladies to this film.  If you want to go make it a guys night out and then compare notes on how your life compares to these guys.  But if you have no interest in doing either avoid the film completely and you will be a much happier person.

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August 06, 2011
I think I'll save this as a rental. Reynolds does seem to have been typecast for this roles. "Hot Chick" was alright I suppose, but the switcheroo thing I really liked was the one with Ellen Barkin which I cannot remember the title right now....any ideas for a badge for this one?
August 02, 2011
Nice write-up, Hannah! I have only thought that this body switch scheme was done correctly once and that was with Big. Freaky Friday was fun but, Big will always be my favorite. Besides those two, the movies revolving around changing places have been failures. I have no clue why they would think this would work in this case. If anybody had any doubt, thanks for setting it straight and saving us all some time and money!
More The Change-Up reviews
review by . December 30, 2011
posted in Movie Hype
Raunchiness of the Body Swappers!
Remember the old saying “Be Careful what you wish for, you just might get it”? How about “the grass is always greener on the other side of the fence?” Well, the comedy “The Change-Up” is a comedy that relies on one’s ability to appreciate raunchy humor and a sense of comedic irony. It would also help if the said viewer liked films such as “Freaky Friday” and “The Hot Chick” (ok, maybe those films had a better comedic quality) because …
review by . August 06, 2011
posted in Movie Hype
No Change At All
There are certain things you need to just plain accept as fact in order to enjoy THE CHANGE-UP. First of all, you have to accept that the notions of what it means to be a responsible adult in the film will be as cliched and contrived as they can possibly be. Past that, you need to accept that, as this is a comedy for dumb boys and from the minds of dumb boys, there will be plenty of T & A and no fart joke opportunity will be missed. Foremost though, you need to accept that two grown men can …
Quick Tip by . December 19, 2011
posted in Movie Hype
Incredibly surprised how much I enjoyed watching this when I rented it. Much of its success is because of Jason Bateman's performance but even Ryan Reynolds was not bad in it at all. It is a story about 'be careful what you wish for you just might get it" and 'the grass is always greener from the other side of the fence'. This is a comedy not for kids as it contains sexuality and nudity. It is from the writers of "The Hangover".      Granted the …
review by . August 06, 2011
posted in Movie Hype
Star Rating:         The first forty-five minutes of The Change-Up play off of America’s seemingly insatiable appetite for raunchy humor, which this year alone has seen a tremendous surge in popularity in films such as Hall Pass, Bridesmaids, Horrible Bosses, Bad Teacher, and The Hangover Part II. Certain scenes are so tasteless that they seem more like endurance tests rather than plot advancement. In the course of this movie, we will witness an infant projectile-defecating …
About the reviewer
Hannah aka Angry Penguin ()
Ranked #34
I am a film fanatic, constantly watching films new and old. When not watching movies I'm reading YA lit or sci-fi/fantasy novels, or working on completing my own book.      If … more
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