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 director David Dobkin’s film is more or less the same with the addition of more adult and toilet humor with the raw injection of sexuality and nudity. Thanks to the success of “The Hangover”, the filmmakers opted to make a film about a body-swap comedy that is way raunchier than most. Oh, by the way, I love Olivia Wilde....so I may be biased LOL!
Dave Lockwood (Jason Bateman) is a lawyer with three kids, he barely has time juggling his time between parenthood and his career; this kind of alienates his wife, Jamie (Leslie Mann) but nonetheless, the two do manage to get along. His best friend, Mitch Planko (Ryan Reynolds) is a single, womanizing, ‘actor’ who lives life on the fast lane with little concerns. One evening, after a night of drinking, and expressing envy for the other’s lifestyle, the two pisses on a fountain guarded by a strange statue. The next day, the two find that they have been ‘switched’ in bodies….
The thing with reviewing a comedy is that most of the time it would depend on the viewer’s sense of humor and I have been said to have a very twisted one at that. I guess what gave me an advantage of seeing what the filmmakers intended for the film is the fact that I was married and then divorced; I am single again and this I liked. Ok, I’ve never had kids when I was married but still, this puts me in a position to tell as to how the advantages and disadvantages of both single and married life. I suppose this is why while some folks said that its jokes were tasteless, I laughed my socks off since me and my friends can relate to the material. I mean, from the beginning of the film, when Dave was changing his kid’s diaper, I was cracking up since I could see it actually happening to someone (it actually did to one of my friends).
I do have to admit that the film relies more on shock value than actual comedic methods and set ups, this combined with several saucy jokes and nudity can turn off some film fans. Myself, I could easily relate to what I have seen. It is one thing to see someone as sexy and then after living together, one comes to see that same person totally different. Mitch in Dave’s body was the more interesting character, since I suppose the difficult chores of parenthood was just more interesting. The direction opted for a more cartoonish way and some areas were just exaggerated, resorting to profanity and bad jokes, but I remembered that this was irresponsible Mitch in Dave’s body. In a way, it made the scenes funny, although a little overwrought since Mitch wasn’t even trying to fit like Dave. I understand how viewers were turned off with Mitch’s advises to Dave’s kid, but sometimes, it does make some sense when you look at it differently. (I mean my dad taught me how to box and I was sent to a dojo as a kid).
While Bateman succeeded in playing the jerk which is typical of Ryan Reynolds, Reynolds also does manage to charm with his portrayal as “Dave as Mitch”. While his character’s issues weren’t as interesting as Mitch’s (ok I am getting confused with the names), it was more of a man who needed a break, that he also considered on pursuing a ‘fling’ with his own co-worker, Sabrina (played by alluring Olivia Wilde). It was more about Dave appreciating being ‘free’ from the responsibilities of married life (even when he is shocked with Mitch’s acting assignments), while Mitch learns more about responsibility, and exactly how people sees his care-free behavior, that brings him at odds with his own father (Alan Arkin).
Ultimately, the film loses his gas after the midway point as it falls to the needs of its flimsy script. It tries to charm its way to some ‘sentimentality traits’ but I saw those as something that felt like a switch in mood and tone. The film does flow quite easily, and in a way, I enjoyed its watch. It isn’t exactly I would say I really liked or that it was a good movie, but I just had fun with the film, despite that it is a little below standard but saved in a way, thanks to the performances.
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 … more
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 … more
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 … more
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 … more