Friday, 05 June 2020
The Change-Up
Written by Sandra Fitzpatrick   
Monday, 08 August 2011 14:53

The Change-UpWhat happens when two great comedic actors get the Freaky Friday treatment and switch bodies with the cameras rolling? Not a whole lot, apparently. The Change-Up boasts a winning cast, but doesn’t manage to live up to the summers’ other comedy offerings.

Jason Bateman and Ryan Reynolds are perhaps two of the most likeable and bankable funny-guys out there, so the two of them playing against one another – No, the two of them PLAYING each other, sounds like hilarity heaven. And it works, to a point. Unfortunately it isn’t enough to keep the laughs rolling through some of the jokes that aren’t witty enough to be anything more than crude.

Bateman and ReynoldsBateman plays Dave, a lawyer who’s living the American dream with his beautiful wife (Leslie Mann) and 2.5 kids. His best friend Mitch (Reynolds) is living the OTHER American dream – the one no one talks about – in which he is a slobby bachelor who has sex with a different girl every night of the week. Things take a turn when they each wish for each other’s lives while drunkenly urinating in a fountain, only to wake up the next day with very different bodies!

It’s fun to watch the transformation these two guys take as they get familiar with their temporary new lives, and bodies. Ryan Reynolds’ crass childcare methods are particularly funny, especially when he tells his daughter that violence solves everything. Bateman spends most of his time arguing with himself about whether sex with other women can be considered “cheating” if he’s inhabiting another man’s penis. There’s a topic for Freud!

Bateman and the babiesThe film goes a bit too far south with crude gags that just aren’t funny.  There are plenty of great comedies out there that deal with bawdy material, but there’s a fine line between what makes us howl with laughter and what just makes us mildly disgusted with ourselves. The Change-Up has more of the latter than the former, and more poop jokes than it knows what to do with.

At its’ worst, the film is neither clever nor witty and just serves as a rude awakening to depravity. At its’ best, it just makes me want to see Bateman and Reynolds starring together in a different movie. If you want some R-Rated comedy, do yourself a favor and check out Horrible Bosses instead.


Directed by David Dobkin, Starring Ryan Reynolds and Jason Bateman.

Leslie Mann also played the wife of a man who switches bodies with someone, opposite Zac Efron, in 17 Again.

Jason Bateman will star in an upcoming big-screen version of his TV show Arrested Development.