REVIEW: THE CHANGE UP
Growing up together, Mitch (Reynolds) and Dave (Bateman) were inseparable best friends, but as the years have passed they’ve slowly drifted apart. While Dave is an overworked lawyer, husband and father of three, Mitch has remained a single, quasi-employed man-child who has never met a responsibility he liked. To Mitch, Dave has it all: beautiful wife Jamie (Leslie Mann), kids who adore him and a high-paying job at a prestigious law firm. To Dave, living Mitch’s stress free life without obligation or consequence would be a dream come true.
Following a drunken night out together, Mitch and Dave’s worlds are turned upside down when they wake up in each other’s bodies and proceed to freak the &*#@ out.
Despite the freedom from their normal routines and habits, the guys soon discover that each other’s lives are nowhere near as rosy as they once seemed. Further complicating matters are Dave’s sexy legal associate, Sabrina (Olivia Wilde), and Mitch’s estranged father (Alan Arkin). With time not on their side, Mitch and Dave comically struggle to avoid completely destroying each other’s lives before they can find a way to get their old ones back.
REVIEW: So here we go again . . . boy I feel like a broken record. How many times have we seen this typical premise unfold on the big screen? “Why, why Mr. Anderson, why do you persist?” Why make another version of this overused, overdone story? The real question is, why should we go see this one and/or will it be fresh or is it just a blatant remake of the same ol’ thing? Is there a blatant disregard for human life? No Priscilla, don’t worry. Although on second thought, there is a blatant disregard for babies. I really tried to not like this movie, believe me. It got me anyway. What makes it different is that this is the raunchy version of that same old story. It is sexy and gross and sometimes both at the same time. It is also full of shock humor. I laughed hard and a lot. There is a good amount of nudity, some of which from a particular member of the cast that I would not have expected but I don’t want to give it away. Wow, Leslie Mann has got a hell of a body. It very much compliments her comedic and acting talents which I believe are underrated. Speaking of bodies, Olivia Wilde looks good as always. Boy has she been busy lately. She doesn’t add a whole lot to the comedy of the movie but she still has a strong presence. And then there are the stars of the show, Jason Bateman and Ryan Reynolds. They had their B+ game going on and the comedic chemistry between them was entertaining. The characters they play are lifelong buddies that are complete opposites reminiscent of Felix and Oscar (The Odd Couple for you younglings). But of course they would have to be in order for the story to work.
The supernatural aspect of their “change up” is underplayed which to me is a good thing because the focus should be on the consequences of the change, not the how. It is there where the entertainment lies and we get plenty of it in this movie even though it is a tired theme. As usual there are moments of reflection as to decisions and the paths we take in life. It is touched upon but not taken too deep. For example, one of the most sincere moments that will touch your heart is a simple “I love you Daddy” from one of Dave’s (Jason Bateman) daughters. Actually at that moment it’s Mitch (Ryan Reynolds) inside Dave’s body but it is still played by Jason not Ryan, right? Huh? Yeah, you know what I mean. Director David Dobkin has a talent for comedies with such titles as Shanghai Knights, Fred Claus, and arguably one of the best comedies ever, Wedding Crashers, under his belt. He did a good job with this one and it will add credit to his name, but it’s not as good as Wedding Crashers. If you can stomach another one of these body swapping adventures, go for it. Just keep in mind that this is a true rated R version.
By Cine Marcos
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