The Change-Up Movie Review
In the R-rated comedy The Change-Up, a married man and his exclusively single best friend switch bodies, giving them both the opportunity to live the lives they've both detested and envied. In other words, it's Freaky Friday only with sex, nudity and masturbation jokes.
Ryan Reynolds and Jason Bateman play each other in the movie, a film that has a few effective jokes but that otherwise struggles to take real advantage of its premise. Compared to many of the other more successful R-rated comedies that were released in 2011, namely Bridesmaids, Horrible Bosses and Bad Teacher, The Change-Up pales in comparison.
The Change-Up is mildly entertaining, but often tries too hard and fails miserably in its attempts. It wants so desperately to be funny but never quite finds its footing. Some of its best moments were unfortunately shown in the previews: Bateman getting disgusted by his "new" wife taking a dump in full view; Bateman getting a face-and-mouth-full of baby poop; Reynolds on an awkward first date with his beautiful assistant played by Olivia Wilde. A scene where Bateman and Reynolds argue whether it's gay to masturbate with the other man's dick is sort of funny, too.
But those are mere moments, toilet jokes designed to evoke momentary laughs.
The main problem with The Change-Up is that it relies on quantity over quality when it comes to humor. Had it attempted to sustain some running gags throughout the story rather than pummeling the audience with one tiny joke after the next, The Change-Up could have been something. As is, it's instantly forgettable.
The Change-Up is from the writers of The Hangover but captures little of the comedic magic that made that classic so funny.
Review by Erik Samdahl unless otherwise indicated.