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