The Change-Up starring Ryan Reynolds & Jason Bateman
Having seen little fanfare or press about this upcoming comedy, other than a quick read to see that it starred, Ryan Reynolds and Jason Bateman and it’s writers and director had been involved in The Hangover movies and Wedding Crashers, respectively. So with an open mind my friend took me to the preview, which we were advised before it started was an unfinished edit, music and title/end credits still to be completed.
The film started off with a scene of Jason Bateman’s straight-laced lawyer character Dave and wife (Leslie Mann) waking up to care for his twin infants. This scene seemed intended to set the tone of the movie and immediately launched us into some very cheap laughs involving bodily functions and baby’s diapers. (I’ll let you put two and two together). Ryan Reynolds character, Mitch, is introduced next and seemed ready to carry on this tone with what could be a one-note ‘stoner’ character. The movie’s basic premise is these two longtime friends switch bodies after a night of drinking and wishing for each other’s life. Body switching movies have been done many times before, and The Change-Up could easily have fallen into the pile of other interchangeable editions but it manages to avoid this pitfall. The two lead actors display a great knack for being over-the-top when required but subtle and reserved at the same time. The addition of a very capable and respected supporting cast including; the always solid Leslie Mann, Olivia Wilde playing the sexy object of desire and Alan Arkin as Mitch Senior, prevents The Change-Up from becoming a run of the mill slapstick movie about a couple of ‘man-boys’.
After being lulled into thinking we were going to get a lot of cheap laughs and toilet humour (which would have been perfectly fine) the movie evolved into a thoughtful and sweet…while still including a lot of laughs…film about the perils of thinking the ‘grass is always greener’ and missing what you have right under your nose.
The Change-Up opens August 5th in theatres across North America.