The Change-Up (2011)

Comedy
Jason Bateman, Ryan Reynolds, Olivia Wilde, Leslie Mann
Dave is a married man with two kids and a loving wife , and Mitch is a single man who is at the prime of his sexual life. One fateful night while Mitch and Dave are peeing in a fountain when lightning strikes and they switch bodies.
There's a certain amount of fun to be had from watching Bateman and Reynolds play against type, but it isn't enough to carry The Change-Up through its crude humor and formulaic plot.
  • Universal Pictures Company:
  • R Rated:
  • IMDB link IMDB:
  • 05 Aug 2011 Released:
  • 08 Nov 2011 DVD Release:
  • $37.0M Box office:

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Trailer:

Why hate?10/10
Out of all the reviews I read it seems that no one enjoys a good R rated comedy anymore. What happened to the days when everyone kept it simple. This movie made me laugh a lot from start to end. There was a lot of harsh language in this movie BUT! it was done very well. So many funny parts in the movie. I did not find myself bored at anytime in this film. I watched this movie in the hopes to enjoy myself and laugh till my sides hurt and it did just that. One of the better R rated profane comedies I've seen in the last few years. So many comedies have came out rated PG-13 the last few years and many of them was just plain dull.

If you enjoy adult humor this is a movie you will like. This movie IS NOT for children lol.

If you do not enjoy adult humor why are you here? Don't review or even rate it ffs go back and watch smurfs or whatever.
Overworked, but Always Funny Storyline7/10
In Atlanta, Dave Lockwood (Jason Bateman) is an efficient and dedicated lawyer that expects to be promoted to partner of the law firm where he has been working for ten years after a merging operation and a family man, married with the gorgeous Jamie Lockwood (Leslie Mann) and father of three children. His best friend is the aspirant actor Mitch Planko (Ryan Reynolds), who is single, reckless and unemployed, and a quitter that never concludes what he is doing.

One night, Dave and Mitch drink a lot and they go to a fountain to pee and they both simultaneously wish to have the life of the other. On the next morning, they wake up and discover that they had switched bodies. They return to the square and find that the fountain has moved to an unknown place. Therefore, Mitch needs to become responsible to save the job and the promotion of his friend, while Dave feels how complicated is for him to date with his sexy and gorgeous colleague Sabrina McArdle (Olivia Wilde). Sooner they learn more about themselves and also that the life of the other is not as good and they believe it could be.

"The Change-Up" is an entertaining film with an overworked, but always funny storyline. I do not recall how many comedies I have seen with two persons switching bodies, but I always laugh a lot. "The Change-up" is no exception, especially with the hilarious Ryan Reynolds, Jason Bateman and Leslie Mann and the gorgeous Olivia Wilde, one of the most beautiful actresses that I have recently seen.

There are particularly two (gross) scenes that I repeated many times since I could not stop laughing: when Dave is cleaning his baby and trying to reach the diaper and when Mitch is in Dave's body and sees the half-naked Jamie going to the bathroom. My vote is seven.

Title (Brazil): "Eu Queria Ter a Sua Vida" ("I Wish I Had Your Life")
The Change-Up is crude, vulgar and absolutely hilarious!5/10
Without even seeing it, some people have bashed this film because of it's unoriginal concept. That's true. It has been done before. You can think of it as Freaky Friday... except with dudes and really amped up! From the first few minutes the movie was crude and vulgar... and absolutely hilarious! But what else is to be expected when two mega forces in comedy come together? David Dobkin, the director of Wedding Crashers, and Jon Lucas and Scott Moore, the writers of The Hangover... just an awesome combination that really paid off on screen! Of course, I can't forget to mention the incredibly funny cast that worked so well together: Ryan Reynolds, Jason Bateman, Leslie Mann and Olivia Wilde... even Alan Arkin is in there! The writing is funny, but the comedic timing and performances were just so perfect and what truly made the film hilarious! The story focuses on two childhood pals, Mitch (Reynolds), who dropped out of high school to become an actor and is just a promiscuous mess, and Dave (Bateman), who has worked hard all his life to be a successful lawyer, has a wonderful family and is close to making partner at his firm. One night, though, while going out and catching up after being vacant from one another's lives for a brief time, they get to talking about their lives and drunkenly wish they could take a walk in the other's shoes, but be careful what you wish for when you are pissing in a magic fountain... The next morning the two awake to discover that they have switched bodies. And, although, after freaking out they begin to explore this new freedom, they soon learn that the escape from their normal lives isn't as glorious as they had imagined and begin looking for a way to return to their rightful bodies.

Despite being wildly hilarious, the film also weaves in some very subtle moments that back up the comedy with a great heart. I recently saw that the general view of the critics is "Skip it!" which was enough to tell you how good the film actually is, but having, now, seen it myself... I say you'd be crazy to miss out on it. True, it won't be everyone's cup of tea, but for someone like me who loves a good R-rated comedy, it's definitely worth going to. In a way, it plays out in the way that made Knocked Up and Wedding Crashers work so well: the outrageous and often crude comedic material overpowers to make a great comedy, but it also has those great tender moments that balance out the film and really carry the story.
It's not the 80's anymore and Hollywood is still making body changing movies!6/10
'THE CHANGE-UP': Three Stars (Out of Five)

It's not the 80's anymore and Hollywood is still making body changing movies! If you had to make one though who better to cast in it than Ryan Reynolds and Jason Bateman (two of my favorite actors)?! A movie where Reynolds is an unemployed slacker pothead and Bateman is a work obsessed family man who switch bodies actually doesn't sound that bad. It is pretty bad still though for the first half of it's running length. Despite having two of the best funny men in the business, most of the jokes fall a little flat for almost all of the film's setup (Reynolds and Bateman do manage to squeeze some laughs out of the mostly dull material though). Then when the film gets to the cheesy stuff, the heart of the film and the real character development, it actually starts to work! The directing gets a little better, the performances start to shine through and the writing begins to polish itself out. It takes half a film to get there but 'THE CHANGE-UP' is mostly worth the effort.

The film is directed by David Dobkin (who also directed the popular buddy films 'WEDDING CRASHERS' and 'SHANGHAI KNIGHTS'). It's written by Jon Lucas and Scott Moore (part of the team behind 'THE HANGOVER'). All of the ingredients are there for the perfect juvenile male bonding adventure but I think the 'body switching' formula kind of dooms the film a little from the start (at least in the start). It revolves around two best friends, Mitch (Reynolds) and Dave (Bateman), who have grown apart due to their lives taking vastly different paths. Both men envy the other though and when they wish for each other's lives while pissing in a fountain one night their wishes come true. Leslie Mann (otherwise known as Mrs. Apatow) and Olivia Wilde co-star as the men's two love interests, one is Dave's wife and the other is his co-worker. Things of course get very complicated and trouble ensues (which then of course leads to emotional evolvement and surprisingly strong character growth).

The film really does make you care for it's two lead characters and watching their emotional growth does really work. That's thanks in part to the directing and somewhat well written screenplay but more so Reynold's and Bateman's performances (I think). They've proved that they not only have a knack for comedic timing but also dramatic chops when given the right material as well. With this film when the drama kicks in the comedy also picks up and flows better. At first the jokes are pretty standard and overused (they're also extremely crude and disturbing) but as the characters start to get more interesting and involving the jokes get funnier and more meaningful as well. If you're a Ryan Reynolds or Jason Bateman fan (or a fan of body switching movies) you'll almost certainly enjoy this film at least some what, despite it's rocky take off.

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Never totally escapes the predictability, but does a decent job skirting it5/10
Oh, the body-swap comedy. You know how it starts, you know how it ends and frankly, you know most of what's in between. To name an R-rated buddy version of this formula "The Change-Up" is essentially serving up a thick slice of irony, yet somehow "The Hangover" writers Jon Lucas and Scott Moore and "Wedding Crashers" director David Dobkin manage to change just enough to prevent predictability from drowning their film entirely.

The film starts neck deep, however. Jason Bateman's character Dave wakes up bright and early thanks to his newborn twins, one of which projectile poos all over his face. Gross-out humor might be one of the worst ways to start a modern comedy, but somehow "The Change-Up" manages to recover thanks to a strong cast and writing that works when it's not trying too hard to be funny.

Dave and Mitch (Ryan Reynolds) are old friends with opposite lifestyles that predictably wish they could have what the other has. Dave has been an achiever all through his life and never stopped to enjoy himself in the ways of drugs and women, for example. That would be typical bachelor Mitch's life. Mitch, on the other hand, would love for even a modicum of success and stability. Plug in a magic fountain activated by two different simultaneous urine streams and voila — body-swapping comedy.

Thus begins the journey of the two friends toward the inevitable learning not to take for granted the lives they have. To be fair, Lucas and Moore write in some scenes that break convention. Early on, for example, there's the scene when they try and convince Dave's wife (Leslie Mann) that they've switched bodies by telling her to ask Dave (in Mitch's body) a question only he would know. Seen that before, right? Rather than she predictably believing them, things take a comic turn when Dave reveals a very private detail about her.

When "The Change-Up" isn't forcing in Farrelly brothers-inspired gross-out humor, it's a decent comedy. For one, the writing from a non-jokes standpoint has surprising strength. At several moments the film goes down some more dramatic side streets that feel natural because the characters have just enough depth for us to care. Mann's performance in particular helps this along — she's far from the typical mother/wife figure in a buddy comedy.

By establishing a bit of a routine in that Mitch in Dave's body must try and prevent Dave's law firm's merger from falling through while also balancing a family life and Dave in Mitch's body must simply get laid in a strange matter of ways, the story doesn't spiral out of control. The focus stays mostly on Mitch in Dave's body as he's the significantly less shallow character with more going on. Bateman takes advantage, transforming himself with a terrific number of quirks, which he's done so well in his career. On a number of occasions, however, the way you'd expect a character to behave and how they actually behave don't match up, which definitely hurts the ability to get caught up in the story, but there's a logic to the sequence of events and as such, natural jokes evolve that counteract the bad ones to some extent.

Somehow the writing manages to hit on points of sentimentality as well. Despite the inevitability of the outcomes, the story arcs of the characters make good use of this tired concept as they drift from hating the change to embracing it to the realization that they truly appreciate their own lives. Some thought definitely went into character motivation, otherwise we'd feel nothing. Dobkin captured the same thing in "Wedding Crashers," but the difference here is obviously the novelty factor. As such, a film can never outrun predictability. It can be taken advantage of as best as the talents involved possibly can, but it always wins.

~Steven C

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