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The Change-Up
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Reviewed on 2011-08-04
Received[2.5]  out of 4 stars
Ryan Reynolds ("Green Lantern" and "The Proposal") and Jason Bateman ("Horrible Bosses" and "The Switch") swap bodies in this comedy from the director of "Wedding Crashers" and the screenwriters of "The Hangover."

Dave Lockwood (Bateman) and Mitch Planko (Reynolds) have been best friends since third grade.

Dave is a hard-working lawyer at a prestigious firm trying to make partner. He has been married 10 years to his adorable wife, Jamie (Leslie Mann from "Knocked Up" and "The 40-Year-Old Virgin"). They have three children. Dave tries to balance the stress of work and family life, but regrets that he has no privacy or leisure time.

Mitch is a slacker single guy with a reputation for being a quitter. He refuses to grow up and take any responsibility. His commitment-free lifestyle includes smoking dope, excessive drinking, a nightly rotation of female sex partners and acting gigs in soft-porn films.

They meet for drinks at a bar and talk about their personal lives. They indicate how much they envy each other's situation. After getting inebriated, they simultaneously urinate into an outdoor fountain and say "I wish I had your life."

The next morning they both wake up and realize they have switched bodies. They try to find the magical fountain to reverse the process.

The remainder of the movie finds them trying to adjust to walking in another man's shoes. They struggle in their newfound roles to avoid completely destroying each other's lives and ongoing relationships.

The message is to stop taking things for granted and appreciate what you have in life. The grass-is-greener philosophy is nice to think about, but only brings regrets when put into action.

The supporting characters include Dave's smoking hot legal assistant Sabrina (Olivia Wilde from "Cowboys & Aliens" and "House M.D."); Mitch's father (Alan Arkin from "Little Miss Sunshine") and Mitch's Tuesday night bed partner Tatiana (Mircea Monroe).

There is an ongoing tug of war with the movie grossing you out with raunchy and downright nasty sequences and then attempting to win you back with sweetness and honey. The wild variance in tone never allows the audience a comfort zone.

The movie's scatological humor is over-the-top in conveying too much information that goes beyond the bounds of good taste. Every woman bares her breasts and spends time sitting on the toilet.

This movie is the equivalent of being on an emotional roller coaster. One minute you like being onboard and the next you desperately want to get off.

The movie is hilarious and scores points for generating lots of laughter. It breaks new ground and goes in unexpected directions. New words and phrases added to your vocabulary include "lorno" and the "cancer list." If you are in the mood for the outrageous, preposterous and ridiculous, this comedy provides a two-hour escape from reality.

Bateman and Reynolds put a lot of energy into their performances. They create a rooting interest from the irresistible charm they bring to the screen. Ladies in the audience will ogle at the handsome Reynolds and consider him one of the sexiest men alive. Mann is a class act showing a willingness to debase herself with some embarrassing sight gags. Wilde, a stunning beauty, is every man's fantasy.

This guilty pleasure will appeal primarily to teenagers and young married couples. The hard "R" rating pushes the boundaries with pervasive strong sexual content and crude language, drug use and graphic full frontal nudity.

Review By:
Keith Cohen "The Movie Guy"


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