The Change-Up, directed by David Dobin is the story of best friends Dave Lockwood (Jason Bateman) and Mitch Planko (Ryan Reynolds). Dave works as a partner in a law-firm and is often upset with himself due to his perceived repetitive and exhaustive lifestyle. Mitch on the other hand is a single man who is at the prime of his sexual life. Though he is loving life, he is often criticized by others by failing to make a name for himself. Due to a miraculous set of events, Dace and Mitch switch bodies. Now they must learn to adapt to each other’s lifestyles while figuring out a way to get their own bodies back.
This sort of movie will not get made today. It contains adult humor similar to what we see in the Ted series, and touches upon sensitive issues such as workplace harassment in a crude manner that probably won’t be tolerated in the society that we live in today. This movie is a comedy and is not meant to be taken seriously, but at the same time its script is unapologetic. What I’m trying to say is that this film is divisive; some of you would absolutely love it for being un-apologetically funny while others would abhor it for how care-free it deals with sensitive social issues. For me, I just took it as a straight comedy: there were parts I liked and parts I didn’t.
The Change-Up is a decent comedy flick, but the humor does dry up near the end of the film. The runtime could have been cut by ~20 minutes to tighten everything up. Jason Bateman and Ryan Reynolds nail their roles. I found the contrast between their characters very interesting; they are polar opposites at first glance, but show similarities as we learn more about them. Both want to enjoy life, yet settle down. Both want to have positive relationships with their families. The development of these characters throughout the movie was heartfelt. Olivia Wilde also features in this film and my god is she a stunner. She also plays an associate in the same law firm as Batemans’ characters and develops a liking for one of these characters.
On the negative side, there were a number of scenes with voice-syncing issues. I could clearly make out an actor moving his/her mouth with no actual dialogue coming out. Also, prepare yourself for a lot of yelling; there are many scenes where two actors literally just yell at each other, and it gets pretty annoying.
In short, The Change-Up is the sort of comedy movie that you would either like or hate. It isn’t the most critically acclaimed film (25% rotten tomatoes, 39 on metascore), but it does have some good moments: Ryan Reynolds, Jason Bateman and Olivia Wilde were brilliant, and there were some good jokes and heartfelt moments.