Rating: 3 out of 5 stars
Opens locally Friday, August 5th, 2011
Run Time: 1 hour 52 minutes, Rated R
Starring: Jason Bateman, Ryan Reynolds, Leslie Mann, Olivia Wilde
Directed by David Dobkin (Wedding Crashers, Fred Clause)
The new comedy "The Change-Up" takes the whole "Vice Versa" body-switch plotline we've all seen 100 times and infuses it with some heavy R-Rated raunch. A responsible married guy (Bateman) and a wild & crazy single guy (Reynolds) switch bodies after they both pee into a magic fountain at the same time. It's a tongue-in-cheek "who cares why" premise that get's us to the real fun stuff a bit quicker than setting up a more complex premise. It works as a laugh-out-loud gross-out comedy probably a bit more than it even should.
Here's a quick snippet of what to expect. Bateman's married character Dave goes to clean his baby's diaper. The baby poops right in his face. Not only do we see the poop, we get a shot of the baby's backside getting ready for release. Later, when Reynolds' character Mitch is inhabiting Dave's body, he sits them in the sink and pours a gallon of milk over their heads for feeding time. The beautiful and funny Leslie Mann takes a loud dump before going to bed. It's Hollywood's latest attempt to out-gross, out-raunch and out-disgust it's audience.
The best part of "The Change-Up" is seeing Jason Bateman, particularly, as he plays against the type of character he always plays. In "Horrible Bosses," I commented that Bateman was playing Bateman yet again, but here it is Reynolds who plays Bateman. Bateman instead plays the vulgar dimwitted party animal role, a role done well here by Reynolds although I couldn't help but wonder how Jason Sudeikis didn't land this role...it's right in his sweet spot. The two actors not only bring inherent laughs in playing against type, but they do good caricatures of each other. If this doesn't place Bateman on the current comedian Mt. Rushmore, I don't know what will.
If you can stomach all of this literal bathroom humor, you will find a lot of smart comedy blended in as well, and some fresh blood pumped into the "Freaky Friday" premise. Most surprisingly of all, you will find a bit of heart, and a thinly-veiled story of friendship. The characters learn more about themselves being on the outside than they ever would have by staying put in their own skin.
"The Change-Up" won't change your life, and it's far from a change of pace as far as current comedies go. But if you have an R-Rated sense of humor and a high threshold for vulgarity, "The Change-Up" may be right up your alley.
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