By Caitlyn Collins | August 4, 2011
Director: David Dobkin
Writers: Jon Lucas, Scott Moore
Starring: Jason Bateman, Ryan Reynolds, Leslie Mann, Olivia Wilde, Alan Arkin
I was a little concerned when they announced there was a brief paragraph that needed to be read before the screening of The Change-Up. Apparently the version I saw was still a “work in progress,” and it showed. There’s going to have to be a hefty amount of editing done to make this film anywhere close to decent. It’s a film full of chocolate-pudding-poop in mouths, disgusting “lorno” (light porno, for those of you not in the know) scenes and mediocre (at the very best) acting by all.
Dave (Jason Bateman) is a married father of three on the verge of making partner at his law firm. He owns a big home, a nice vehicle and a closet full of suits and ties. He awakes daily to the howls of his daughter and her twin brother, who constantly bashes his badly CGI-ed head against his crib. His relationship with his wife is one that hasn’t done much for either party in quite some time. Dave is a little boring, but with his witty sarcasm is sure to conjure images of Michael Bluth (or any other character Bateman has portrayed recently). Mitch (Ryan Reynolds) is Dave’s best friend and polar opposite. Mitch wakes and bakes, hasn’t held a real job in almost a decade and vows to sleep with as many women as possible, no matter their age or due date. One night after downing a plethora of shots, Dave and Mitch piss in a sinister looking fountain and voilà! Their lives are transformed à la Freaky Friday.
Despite having espoused how wonderful each other’s lives were in their drunken haze, Mitch and Dave are horrified to discover their lives have gone topsy-turvy. Dave has a big account to close at his law firm in order to make partner and Mitch finally has a job on the set of a film. Mitch’s drug-filled sex life is a major concern for Dave as is Dave’s lack thereof for Mitch. After the first day they attempt to tell Dave’s wife, Jamie (Leslie Mann), but of course who on earth would believe them? They decide to make the best of it and commence to royally screw each other over in numerous, idiotic ways.
Mitch, as Dave, makes a mockery of himself in the meeting meant to make him partner, almost costing Dave his job in the process. Dave, as Mitch, ruins the best sex Mitch has ever had when he learns that Tatiana (Mircea Moore) is a woman on the verge of giving birth. In the meantime, they desperately search for the diabolical fountain which the city has decided to move. Because of bureaucratic red tape, Dave and Mitch eventually embrace their fates as one another and begin to enjoy living each other’s lives.
Mitch is able to salvage Dave’s job by finally buckling down and finishing something for the first time in his memory after hearing what his father (Alan Arkin) really thinks about him. Dave goes on a date with his attractive legal assistant, Sabrina (Olivia Wilde), learns to rollerblade and takes a solid dump for the first time in years. The Change-Up is the cliche film about learning to live in someone else’s shoes (literally) and the testament of a solid friendship. Eventually, the two come to the realization that they can no longer live each other’s lives and go in search of the fountain.
The Change-Up, directed by David Dobkin, has a few bits of genuine humor. But these are few and far between, and they certainly aren’t strong enough to carry this film. The lackluster acting as well as the juvenile and somewhat disgusting antics were quite frankly on the verge of boring.