Review in a Hurry: This body-switching comedy plays like a super-raunchy Freaky Friday, with two best buds (Jason Bateman, Ryan Reynolds) accidentally swapping their wildly different lives. Funny performances and one-liners freshen the hackneyed premise somewhat, but Change-Up gets effed-up by sloppy storytelling and gratuitously vulgar gags.
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The Bigger Picture: Dudes, take note—this might not be a great first-date movie. Unless neither of you is embarrassed by jerking off, ball shaving and loads of poop jokes, not to mention the flimsy, demeaning treatment of female characters.
Longtime friends Dave (Bateman) and Mitch (Reynolds) have grown apart over the years. Dave is now a successful lawyer with the house, wife (Leslie Mann), and kids; Mitch is a single, perpetually stoned slacker with a roster of booty-call babes.
Dave and Mitch claim to envy each other’s life, and after drunkenly peeing together in a park fountain, they get their “wish”: they wake the next morning having switched psyches. Freaking out, they return to Zoltar, er, the fountain, but it’s conveniently been relocated to an unknown location. So the guys keep up the ruse until they can reverse the curse. Expected high jinks ensue as they try not to destroy their respective lives and learn, of course, that the grass (and weed) isn’t always greener.
Bateman and Reynolds, both adept comedians, convincingly embody their different personalities and admirably commit to some humiliating situations. But they can only squeeze so many laughs from a script that forces the writers’ puerile sensibilities and then a sappy-happy ending.
In the opening scene, a baby hershey-squirts Dave in the mouth, and the poop just keeps on flying, along with the F-bombs. The depiction of women also stinks—poor Leslie Mann is seen naked on the toilet as she noisily takes a dump, and a skanky soft-core actress gets butt-probed by Mitch’s thumb. Ugh. The movie isn’t much kinder to kids, with the uncomfortable sight of young girls watching Dave and Mitch in their ultimate act of male bonding: taking a public piss.
Maybe save Change-Up for bromance night.
The 180—a Second Opinion: Stunningly lovely Olivia Wilde makes the most of her role as Dave’s assistant and remains (mostly) unscathed by the movie’s crude humor.
PHOTOS: Body Swap Madness!