Yawwwnnnnnn! That was the sounds of the extremely tired body-switching plot convention that has come to us yet again, this time in The Change-Up. You would think after Freaky Friday, Big, 17 Again, 13 Going on 30 and The Hot Chick (OK, I'll stop) that Hollywood would realize that we've finally seen it all in this exhausted genre. I guess this time their excuse for adding another title to the bunch comes from the two body-switching characters being adult males, rather than an adult and a child.
You know the routine: Mitch (Reynolds) makes his "living" as an out-of-work actor who sits around and smokes weed all day. Dave (Jason Bateman) shines as the overachieving husband/father/grossly-talented lawyer. One night, while drunkenly peeing into a fountain together, the two simultaneously proclaim, "I wish I had your life!" Then thunder strikes, the city goes dark and, presto-chango, those two fools have switched bodies.
I have to admit; the movie wasn't as bad as I assumed it would be, but it still wasn't good. At the very beginning, I thought we were headed for awfulville because the film begins with one of Dave's twin babies shooting poop straight into Dave's mouth. Why we repeatedly have to witness this disgusting gag is beyond me. Most likely, the studio needed to dumb the film down to the lowest level possible in order to reach the broadest audience, but seriously - work on the jokes, and stop relying on gross-out poop gags. You have Bateman and Reynolds - use them!
By far the greatest facets of The Change-Up come from the talent and beauty of the film's leading actresses. The always-hilarious Leslie Mann brings truth and real emotion to Dave's wife, Jamie, shockingly giving women someone with whom to connect. Outside of Jamie's truthful working-mom role, Mann also doesn't slouch on the humor. She too, however, falls victim to the poop jokes. I've admittedly had a slight girl-crush on Olivia Wilde since her stint on The OC, and in The Change-Up she plays Sabrina, the everyman's fantasy girl - professional by day, wild, sexual and spontaneous "bad girl" by night.
Rather than parent and child switching bodies to learn a lesson about gratitude and responsibility, this time around it's two buddies. While, this could have been something new and different, it wasn't because Bateman and Reynolds are essentially adult and child, respectively. Come on Hollywood, we're just as tired of watching these switcheroo comedies as the genre itself is. Cut the crap - literally - and breathe a little life into this rehashed idea if you're going to insist on remaking the same film over and over.
Starring Jason Bateman, Ryan Reynolds, Leslie Mann, and Olivia Wilde.
Directed by David Dobkin.