We’ve all had to sit through at least one cheesy body-swapping movie in our lifetime. Whether it was Tom Hanks in Big or Lindsay Lohan in Freaky Friday, they’ve ranged quite a bit in the quality department. And thankfully, this week’s release, The Change-Up, stacks up as one of the best of the genre.
For one thing, The Change-Up isn’t afraid to delve into the R-Rated territory (which actually goes against the norms of the typical family-friendly body swap comedy). It’s also got some very likeable leads and a storyline that delivers consistent laughs.
Fresh off his run in The Green Lantern, Ryan Reynolds stars as Mitch, a single ladies’ man who’s still trying to find his way in life. Horrible Bosses’ Jason Bateman plays his best buddy Dave, a straight-laced family man who may be a little too tightly wound for his own good.
On one “magical” night, the two pals decide to relieve themselves at a local fountain and bring up the fact that they wish they had each others’ lives. We think you can tell where things go from there. BAM! Thanks to the mysterious forces above, they wake up in each others’ bodies and all hell starts to break loose.
Yes, there are plenty of sentimental moments where each guy learns to appreciate the life he has. But in between the sappiness there are actually some hilarious jokes, particularly the ones that involve Mitch (trapped in Dave’s body) learning how to care for a set of twin babies.
The trailers heavily hype that The Change-Up was written by the team behindThe Hangover and you can easily tell. The gags are rapid-pace, the tone is just as raunchy, and there are plenty of sexy moments (courtesy of Cowboys & Aliens’ Olivia Wilde). But beyond that, it has a surprising amount of heart and a nice lesson about appreciating life (no matter whose body you’re in).
Bottom line: If you’re looking for a Change-Up from typical bland comedies, give this movie a try. Though the concept has been done before, the execution is carried out rather well and it really gives both Reynolds and Bateman a chance to show off their underrated comedic abilities.
By Michael Lopez