Review of “The Change Up”

5 Aug

 The grass is always greener on the other side, as the saying goes. That’s the premise of The Change Up.  Lifelong friends, Mitch (Ryan Reynolds) the womanizing, aspiring actor and Dave (Jason Bateman) the ambitious lawyer and the married father of three (Jason Bateman) admire lives.  Mitch envies Dave’s stability.  Dave longs for Mitch’s freedom. So one night after drinking, they urinate into a magical fountain, lighting strikes and the next morning they find each of their personalities housed in the other’s bodies.

 The carefree Mitch has to handle an almost billion dollar merger deal his friend has been working on and become a husband and father of three. Dave has to takeover Mitch’s soft porn acting gig and carryon Mitch’s “creative” love life. The viewer goes along for the rid.

 One of the unfortunate downsides of the success “guys behaving badly” films is that they breeds cheap imitations.  The film, Hangover about four guys who wake up in a Las Vegas Hotel in a bizarre set of circumstances in which they retrace their steps to determine what happened, was a huge hit. Then there was Hangover Part II, with the same guys in Asia. This other films such as The Wedding Crashers have led to a series of copycats like The Change Up.

 While The Change Up is an occasionally humorous movie, but like the films it imitates, there’s sophomoric toilet humor like flying baby poop and loud and animated bowel movements.   The story develops in steady often predictable way.  They guys stumble through surviving in each others lives and of course start to appreciate the lives they had. 

 In filmmaking the writers and directors have to get the little things right. Like Justin Bateman’s 35 year old character who has a very attractive wife, wears 1950s Leave It To Beaver, Ward Cleaver type pajamas that today no man under 80 would wear.  And he uses baby powder on their twins which went out years ago because of the danger of being inhaled.

 Supposedly set in Atlanta, GeorgiaThe Change Up gets a “D-” for Cast Diversity. This is about as non diverse of a cast as I have seen in a while.  None of the major casts or supporting performers are people of color.   Even in a scene featuring a children’s ballet dance class with 20 students, none are black.

 The Change Up gets a RENT IT rating.  It’s not worth going to the theater to see but has enough entertainment value to make it worth renting.

It’s 112 minutes in length and is Rated “R” for sexual situations.

 

 

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