The Change-Up Review: Cheap And Raunchy With A Sweet Message

You get a feel for The Change-Up in the first 5 minutes of the film. You’ll know the scene when you see it, and you’ll be sitting there thinking – ‘Oh god, it’s going to be one of those kind of movies isn’t it?’ While the film does have its moments, it has many more awkward boob, sex, and bathroom jokes that distract from any real appreciation you can have for the movie.

This R-rated comedy tells the story of Mitch (Ryan Reynolds) and Dave (Jason Bateman). They’ve been friends since they were little, despite the fact that they live very different lives. Dave is a successful lawyer who is hoping to make partner, and Mitch is a struggling actor/man-child who lives to smoke weed and doesn’t know the meaning of responsibility. One drunken night, as the two friends pee in a public fountain, they wish that they could switch lives – and the next morning that is exactly what happens. As Dave gets a vacation from his job, his wife, and his 3 kids, Mitch gets a taste of responsibility. Seems the grass isn’t always greener on the other side, and the guys immediately find themselves trying to track down the fountain that they disgraced the night before. Of course going through the appropriate government channels to find said fountain is going to take a little while. And hence the madness, which is intended to be hilarious, ensues.

I actually visited Turner Field last year during the filming of the movie. I saw the scene with Olivia Wilde and Ryan Reynolds being filmed – and drastically edited down apparently. The scene was shot in November when it was about 38 degrees out and windy. However, the film was supposed to take place in the summer, and all the extras had to act like it was 80. Then of course, they got rained on. There was only two sections of the stadium that was filled with extras, in one of the shots you can actually see the empty seats to the upper right – but clearly in the other shots they’ve used some additional footage when the stadium was packed out. Just a little bit of movie-making-magic trivia for you!

Overall, the film houses a really sweet story about appreciating what you have, but it’s just masked with too much cheap and raunchy humor for the message to really shine through. While you will laugh, there’s nothing about the movie as a whole that stands out as exceptional. It’s just okay. It is after all a body-swapping film, if it was anything more than “okay” – I think it would be a miracle.

Grade: C
Review By: Emma Loggins