DIRECTED BY: David Dobkin
WRITTEN BY: Jon Lucas, Scott Moore
STARRING: Ryan Reynolds, Jason Bateman, Leslie Mann, Olivia Wilde
RATING: 3 stars
As a woman, I don't know what men talk about when they get together for a “few quiet beers” but I would love to be a fly on the wall to hear men compare their lives. Is it better to be an eternal bachelor, free to have sex with anyone, or does every man secretly want to be married with kids and have a steady job? What are the pros and cons? Well that's the theme explored in The Change Up in what has been probably unfairly described by many people as Freaky Friday for adults.
Mitch Planko (Ryan Reynolds) and Dave Lockwood (Jason Bateman) are best friends but they couldn't be more different. Mitch is a bachelor and sometimes-actor who spends most of his time sleeping, smoking weed and having sex with various women. Dave is a lawyer who is married to Jamie (Leslie Mann) and has three young children. During a night of drinking, the pair wish they had each other's life while they pee in a fountain. The next morning, their bodies are switched and they have to find a way to not mess up each other's lives until they can find a way to switch back.
Written by the men behind The Hangover, you would expect The Change Up to be full of “boy” humour – lewd, crude and rude jokes – and it is. Unfortunately, they just aren't as funny as they were in The Hangover, which is a shame because the cast is excellent. Casting Reynolds as the playboy character is always going to be a win for casting agents because Reynolds somehow blends goofy cuteness with sexy charm, making him likeable to men and women. Bateman also gives a solid performance, and with the two of them imitating each other's body language, they are both consistent and convincing. Mann is also funny and can bring emotion to scenes that less capable comedic actors would struggle with.
The Change Up is full of laughs, but in the end, you're left wondering if you actually enjoyed it as much as you thought you did during the screening. How many penis jokes can a person actually appreciate hearing in two hours? The Change Up is a fun but forgettable film.