The Change-Up (2011) – Review

3 Stars


The Change-Up is another in a long and undistinguished line of films that center on the plot premise of a body swap. An uninspired opening act introduces us to Dave (Jason Bateman), a responsible family man on the verge of making partner in his law firm, and Mitch (Ryan Reynolds), a pot smoking layabout who fancies himself an actor on the brink of stardom. Things get better when the two attempt to preform the everyday duties in each other’s lives. The writing from Hangover scribes Jon Lucas and Scott Moore is groan inducing until the second act when the switch occurs and from thereon the script is littered with enough gags and amusing one-liners to float this uneven comedy to the finish line.

The real fun to be had here is in watching the normally reserved Bateman let loose with his impersonation of the cocksure carefree Reyonlds persona. Bateman has made a career playing the straight guy and finally he’s given the chance to ramp up the energy level and aggressiveness, all to maximum comedic effect. Reynolds isn’t as effective in doing the inverse; he is rendered ineffectual by playing the impish, loyal husband and workaholic. The film truly benefits from the presence of Leslie Mann (Knocked Up, Funny People) a spitfire full of vulgarity and emotion. She and Bateman make for a believable on-screen couple; enough so that you’d like to see them in a better movie.

There are some real laughs in The Change-Up, although the disgusting gross out gags with the use of odd looking CGI effects fall flat. I suppose it’s not fair to penalize this film because it had the misfortune of being released after two of the best comedies in recent years. Yet after the giggle fest that I experienced watching Bad Teacher and Horrible Bosses, I can’t ignore the truth. The Change-Up is an above average comedy and in a different year it may have been a huge hit, but it’s not nearly as inspired as the previously mentioned titles.

Director: David Dobkin
Stars: Jason Bateman, Ryan Reynolds, Olivia Wilde

2 thoughts on “The Change-Up (2011) – Review

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *