DIR: David Dobkin • WRI: Jon Lucas, Scott Moore• PRO David Dobkin, Neal H. Moritz • DOP: Eric Alan Edwards • ED: Lee Haxall Greg Hayden • DES: Barry Robison • CAST: Jason Bateman, Ryan Reynolds, Olivia Wilde, Leslie Mann
Body-swap comedies have always been an unreasonably popular sub-genre unto themselves, with kids turning into grown ups (Big, 13 Going On 30), grown ups turning into kids (17 Again), kids and their parents doing the switcheroo (Freaky Friday), swapping genders (The Hot Chick, It’s A Boy/Girl Thing) or rich folk and poor folk trading places (uhm… Trading Places). So does The Change-Up have anything new to bring to this already over-flowing table? Yes. Swearing. And boobies. But mostly swearing.
Jason Bateman and Ryan Reynolds are two best mates who don’t get to see each other much anymore since Bateman is married with kids and a high-pressure job, and Reynolds is a bum/out-of-work actor who likes nothing better than having sex with heavily pregnant women. While both peeing into a magical fountain, they both say the magical words ‘I wish I had your life’ and et voila! Body-swap! But wouldn’t you know it, the magical fountain has disappeared when they try to change back. Also, their individual lives are up a certain creek without a paddle, and they know must count on each other to sort it out.
So, plot wise, there’s nothing even remotely original here. But after the popularity of The Hangover and Bridesmaids, this too has been aimed squarely at the adults, and it is nice to see a normally clean-cut movie splattered with foul language and nudity. Bateman and Reynolds make for equally charming leads, and when they do the swap-out, much enjoyment can be found in the usually tightly wound Bateman cutting loose. And the supporting cast of Leslie Mann, Alan Arkin and the insanely beautiful Olivia Wilde all do the best they can with what they’re given.
The Change-Up isn’t going to win any awards, but it is exactly the kind of film you should go see with your best mate that you don’t see much of anymore.
Rated 16 (see IFCO website for details)
The Change-Up is released on 16th September 20111