>> The Change-Up (2011)

Title: The Change-Up

Genre: Comedy

Starring: Ryan Reynolds, Jason Bateman, Leslie Mann, Olivia Wilde

Director: David Dobkin

Studio: Universal Pictures

Runtime: 112 minutes

In Theatres: August 5, 2011

MPAA Rating: R

Rating: 2.50 (out of 4.00)

Grade: C+

Official Site

At one point or another, everyone has wondered what it would be like to switch places with one of their friends. If you’re the family man type with three screaming kids and a stressful job, don’t you wish you could just switch places with your slacker buddy who just sleeps late and does whatever he wants all day? Yeah, me too. Best friends Mitch and Dave feel the exact same way, and after taking a piss in a mysterious fountain their wishes come true and they switch bodies, taking on each others role in life. Talk about a golden opportunity, right?

Ryan Reynolds and Jason Bateman star as Mitch and Dave in The Change-Up, a comedy about changing lives for a day (or two). While changing places seems like fun at first, the two soon realize that they had it good beforehand and must figure out a way to return everything back to normal before they ruin their lives and their friendship.

In a summer where R-rated comedies have been striving (The Hangover: Part II, Horrible Bosses) The Change-Up makes a mediocre splash in the comedy pool. In the first few minutes you get a sense of how the jokes are delivered; babies slamming their heads against cribs and having disgusting poop splattered all over your face. This film goes to the extreme in terms of raunchiness and for a while it works.

Mitch is your typical sex-driven stoner dude whose daily routine consists of figuring out which bong to take a hit from or who he’s going to sleep with that night. Dave on the other hand has a wife and three kids and is too busy working as a lawyer to really have any fun. Naturally, Ryan Reynolds is the funnier of the two from a situational standpoint. He doesn’t hesitate to state the obvious; he’s blunt and too the point, even with the little kids.

This is all fine for about the first 30 minutes. After that, the shock factor of much of the humor wears thin and it becomes just another comedy. That’s the thing about The Change-Up; nothing sets it apart from many of the other comedies this year. It has its moments but nothing stands out to make it great. Both Reynolds and Bateman do a decent job at making the audience laugh, and they manage to pull off the whole role reversal aspect pretty convincingly.

The Change-Up is good for some laughs but ultimately doesn’t leave that great of a lasting impression. It takes itself way too seriously towards the end with the theme of living your own life, becoming a better person, etc. With Horrible Bosses released not too long ago and the upcoming 30 Minutes or Less on the horizon, The Change-Up is caught somewhere in the middle of laugh out loud funny and laughing out of sympathy funny.

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