Review: The Change-Up
The Change-up isn't much different from your typical body swap comedy film but it is nonetheless funny. It helps that the films stars Ryan Reynolds and Jason Bateman are no strangers to comedy films, all the while they have solid chemistry together. The two played off one another very well and surprisingly did a good job playing each other in a certain regard. The film also will be funny to those who enjoyed Wedding Crashers will definetly enjoy this one as it has the same kind of laughs. Sometimes the gags can be a bit over the top (for example the scenes with the babies which I won't give away) but the gags nonetheless still are funny.
The story is simple, and nothing really new to the body swapping comedy films. It follows Dave Lockwood (Bateman) and Mitch Planko (Reynolds) who have been friends for quite sometime but have grown apart as they both live completely different lives. Dave is an accomplished lawyer who is on the verge of making partner at his firm while Mitch is an unemployed immature man. The two get together to watch a baseball game at a bar and after a few drinks they reveal to each other that they are jealous of the lives they live. Dave wishes that he could have time to himself, while Mitch wishes he could come home to people that love him. The two then go to a nearby fountain to urinate into and as they do so, they wish they had each others live. Bingo, they got their wishes the next day.
Jason Bateman may have stolen the show in this comedy with his ability to play Mitch Planko. In the beginning he does a great job in the role of Dave, but Dave is the kind of role that Bateman usually plays in movies as of late. Some of his best scenes come from when he is inappropriately hitting on Olivia Wilde's character Sabrina, even though he full well knows Dave (the body he is in) is married and Bateman is even better when he is trying to father his friend's children. Bateman is completely believable as a womanizing low life and is a big reason as to why the film is such a success.
Leslie Mann is no stranger to this kind of film as she had already starred as the wife to the body swapper in 17 Again. Mann puts in a much more likable performance this go round, most likely due to the better jokes and better writing. Mann's character is that of a wife that is on the edge of losing it and her marriage. She tries to keep it all together and after the switch happens the marriage seems to deteriorate even more, causing her to lose it even more. Mann's performance helps keep the film grounded even when the film gets a bit crazy with some of the more unbelievable laughs. Olivia Wilde, in her small role, does the best she can in a role that is only to serve as eye candy. In the under-written role she still manages to be very likable.
Ryan Reynolds also shines in the film as he usually does with the more over the top kind of comedy films. He has a natural charm that makes his character very easy to like and he also does a good job playing a role that is unlike him. Reynolds does a good job of portraying the mild-mannered shy married man, even though he is in the body of a degenerate. His scenes with Olivia Wilde are also funny, due to the fact that he is actually her boss and she discloses information to him that makes him slightly uncomfortable.
This summer has been a bit weak in the comedy department with films like 30 Minutes or Less, Friends with Benefits, The Hangover 2, Horrible Bosses and now this. Horrible Bosses and The Change-up are probably the two best comedies of the summer, but are also very different. The Change-up will be better received by fans of movies like Anchorman and films that feature foul language, weed jokes, and crude humor. It also benefits from the performances given by it's lead actors, Jason Bateman and Ryan Reynolds. The two of them show great diversity and almost seem to make fun of themselves in a way. Perfect example of this would be after the switch occurs, Ryan Reynolds looks at himself in the mirror upon realizing what had happened and yells "O my god I'm a douche bag!"
The film also benefits by not being overly dragged out like most comedy films today and some solid writing by the guys that brought us The Hangover Part 1. The Wedding Crashers director David Dobkin does a good job and finally makes a solid film following his incredibly successful Wedding Crashers. He paced the film well, but did allow it to get a bit crazy at times, for instance for the baby scenes that I mentioned before.