The Change-Up is a mindless, extremely predictable movie…but dammit if it didn’t make me laugh a lot.
I’m a fan of both Ryan Reynolds and Jason Bateman, so throwing them both in a body-swapping movie would seem to be a no-brainer for the type of movie I’d like. Then you’ve got Leslie Mann and Olivia Wilde? Sold.
As I said before, the plot is extremely predictable. Bateman and Reynolds’ characters (Dave Lockwood and Mitch Planko, respectively) have been friends since they were kids. Dave is married to Jamie (Mann). He’s got a good job, a nice house in the suburbs of Chicago, and he and his wife have three kids. Dave’s life is nothing but work (he’s up for partner at his law firm!) and the same-old same-old routine at home. Mitch is a stoner who’s attempting to become an actor. He’s got no responsibilities and goes home with a new woman every night (or at least the same seven women, each with their own night each week). These guys spend a night out watching a game at a bar, filling their bladders, then decide to seek relief at a fountain in the park. As they’re both doing the whole “grass is greener” bit while adding their bit of yellow water to the fountain, they wish for each other’s life, and suddenly the city goes dark.
Guess what happens when they wake up.
Throughout the movie, Dave tries to enjoy the life of a slacker while Mitch tries to get him to have a bit of physical fun. Mitch, on the other hand, tries to prove to everyone that he can be an adult after learning what his best friend and his father (played by Alan Arkin) really think of him. Pretty rote, right?
Mitch is extremely foul-mouthed and seems to be missing the little filter that rests somewhat comfortably between our (well, maybe not mine) brains and our mouths. He’s a dirtier Van Wilder or Berg. Had he stayed in this role, I’m pretty sure I still would have been entertained, but probably not as entertained as when the words are coming out of Bateman’s mouth, a mouth that’s usually attached to a straight-laced, by-the-book character. That’s where the funny comes in.
The other thing, or things, I guess, and really they’re not things, they’re women. Two beautiful women who happen to be good actresses. First, we’ve got Mann in a good chunk of the movie. She and Dave are drifting apart, and she’s the one who brings a bit of drama into the movie. She’s the one who realizes her marriage is falling apart, and she unknowingly confesses these problems to her husband. For those of you dirty birds in the audience, there’s a nude scene, and it’s pretty good. Of course, that’s then tempered by a wonderful bathroom scene.
Wilde plays Sabrina, Dave’s co-worker who he fantasizes about. Dave ends up on a date with her while in Mitch’s body. Perfect situation, right? It’s also not bad for the audience, at least the male patrons, who get to see a bit more of her than in any other movie she’s been in…sort of. Ever heard of CGI nipples? Nah, neither have I. Mann has also said that she used a prosthetic in her nude scene. So use that knowledge however you will, guys.
I’m going to end this review the same way I began it: it’s mindless and extremely predictable, but I enjoyed the hell out of it. If you don’t mind a lot of foul language and a bit of fake nudity and movie that allows you to turn your brain off, then this might be one for you. If you’ve got Cinemax, watching the movie won’t even cost you anything.