The Change-Up (2011) starring Ryan Reynolds, Jason Bateman, Leslie Mann, Olivia Wilde, Alan Arkin, Mircea Monroe, Gregory Itzin, Ned Schmidtke directed by David Dobkin Movie Review

The Change-Up (2011)   3/53/53/53/53/5

Ryan Reynolds in The Change-Up (2011)

Freaky Fecking Friday

Dave (Jason Bateman - Paul) and Mitch (Ryan Reynolds - Buried) were childhood friends but over the years they have drifted apart. Dave is now a responsible family man, father of three with a well paid job as a lawyer which keeps him very busy whilst Mitch has remained single living life with out responsibility or a secure job. But Mitch envies Dave's life and yearns for the same whilst Dave would love to remember what life is like being carefree and single. After deciding to catch up with a few drinks which turn into a few more which turn into many they wake up in a drunken stooper to discover they have switched places. Now they not only get to see that life isn't as rosy on the other side they have to try and make sure they don't screw up each others lives before they can find away to switch back.

Do you find it amusing when a father goes to change a baby's nappy and the baby urinates all over him mid change? It's a tired gag but one which can sort of work but what if they decided to crude it up and we watch the babies but cheeks ripple before projecting poop over the doting father and in to their mouth? It isn't my sort of humour but it is the opening gag in "The Change-Up" and which then runs with it and launches one crude joke at us after another, from insulting comments, babies bashing their heads against cot bars and a child asking what masturbation is. In fairness some of the jokes are funnier than others but most are basic and crude and full of profanity which I have nothing against but making swearing funny is a deft art which is not on show here.

Jason Bateman in The Change-Up (2011)

Anyway look beyond the barrage of swearing and crude gags and we are in familiar territory as we are in body swap territory and in many ways "Freaky Friday" territory. We may not have parent and child but in best friends we have life style envy who of course discover each other's lives are not as good as they seem from the outside. And like in the "Freaky Friday" movies Dave and Mitch realise that they can't screw up each other's lives whilst in each others bodies, not easy when Mitch in Dave's body discovers his work colleague is the exact sort of chick he would screw except of course he can't as he is married.

The one thing which "The Change-Up" has going for it is the cast with good supporting performances from the likes of Leslie Mann and Alan Arkin but lively performances from Reynolds and Bateman. It is because Reynolds & Bateman play it large, loud and with it lots of attitude it is watchable even when it descends to relying on profanity rather than cleverness.

What this all boils down to is that "The Change-Up" is just an update on the old favourite of the body swap but an update which is all about the crude humour and profanity. It does push some things to the limit when it comes to the crude humour and it isn't going to be for everyone.