Proof that the comedy genre is running out of ideas.
Single playboy Mitch (Ryan Reynolds) and responsible husband-father Dave (Jason Bateman) are best buddies who want each other’s life — and they get the chance when they magically swap bodies after a night of drunken revelry.
The body-switching comedy has been done before, so when I saw the preview for this one I thought it was going to be a big pile of crap. However, even though the critics hate this one, I can’t really say I don’t like this either.
For the most part, the script itself knows exactly what this film is all about and doesn’t try to do anything new with this body-switch story, instead it just loads up with tons and tons of raunchy jokes, which isn’t so bad. A lot of the things said and done here are sometimes we haven’t seen or heard hit the screen before but that doesn’t mean it’s still not funny. The jokes are constant, as well as rude, mean, and just plain nasty but it kept me laughing a whole lot throughout the first 30 minutes of this film.
This is also an R-rated film, and when I mean R, I mean a heavy R. There is a huge amount of poop, ball, penis, sex, and fart gags to be had here which makes it even more disgusting once you see the situations these dudes get into which is some pretty messed up stuff. It actually gets so bad to the point of where you may actually start to gag at the things you see. Trust me, it’s some pretty bad and dirty stuff.
Some may say this is all in bad taste, while others will say it is just incredibly repulsive. I say that this is some raunchy stuff that is actually pretty funny and something that hasn’t been done before in a body-switch film and with the director of Wedding Crashers teaming up with the dudes who wrote The Hangover, I can’t believe I was actually surprised by a lot of the stuff I was seeing here. In case you couldn’t tell this is not a film you bring mommy and daddy to.
However, as the film kept on going, I started to realize that the laughs started to fall more and more until there was barely any and then we just got the usual annoying, sympathetic plot device. The film actually does have us care for these guys which is something I wasn’t even expecting but the problem here is that it just gets way too sappy by the end, almost till the point of where I just kept on rolling my eyes left-and-right at every single piece of dialogue that came out of these character’s mouths.
The film doesn’t go off formula for one second, yet it spends it’s sweet time getting there regardless of the fact that everyone knows exactly how it’s gonna end. This is the biggest problem here because it goes on for way too long. It went on so long that after the 90-minute mark not a single person was actually laughing until the film itself realized that it was actually a raunchy comedy and then decided to throw in some dirty stuff there.
The real saving grace to this film is actually the cast which shines in almost every moment they get. Jason Bateman plays the straight-laced funny guy in almost every film he does now as Dave, but here he gets to branch out now that he’s taking over Reynolds’ mouth. Bateman takes over this film bringing so many hilarious one-liners, non-stop crass remarks, and a guy that is actually kind of mean and unlikable which Bateman seems to channel incredibly well in this performance. Ryan Reynolds is a lot more subdued as Mitch, but the guy still shows that he has the hilarious comic chops to make this character work well. It’s probably been awhile since he’s actually gotten a very funny role but Reynolds is given a lot of opportunity to just fly that foul-mouth around and shows why he’s got perfect comedic timing and not just a great body with a killer smile.
The problem with the casting of these two in this role is that both actors actually kind of have the same dead-pan comedic delivery so when these two switch bodies and minds, there’s nothing really terribly new to their persona’s. I think if they casted two actors that have two totally different ways of bringing out laughs, then this would have provided a lot more hilarity seeing an actor take on a different role for once. But instead, we’re stuck with these two and that’s not to say that their not all that bad anyway.
The ladies in this film are actually pretty good too. Leslie Mann is funny as well as pretty endearing as Dave’s wife and although she’s been a lot better, I still have to say that she owns that sweet and mean side to her acting that she has. The always gorgeous Olivia Wilde does a great job of not letting her good looks get too much in the way of her comedy and actually brings out some very good laughs that I wasn’t really expecting from her character after all.
Consensus: The plot turns into some sympathetic and formulaic crap that kind knocks the comedy down more and more, but The Change-Up still has it’s fair shares of totally raunchy, dirty, and just downright wrong jokes that actually work mainly thanks to the very great performances from Reynolds and Bateman.