‘The Change-Up’ – While Staying The Same

This film takes the worn-out idea of body switching, throws in some crass humor and a few cliched characters, then drags the entire old stoker out for two long, painful hours.

Dave (Jason Bateman) is a successful lawyer and has three children with his wife, Jamie (Leslie Mann). His best friend Mitch (Ryan Reynolds), takes Dave to a ball game and, on the way home, they urinate in a fountain while discussing how they would like to change places with each other. The next day they wake up and this has happened, but when they go back to the fountain to undo their wish, the fountain has been moved and they are forced to live each other’s lives.

When we first meet Dave, he is faithful to his wife, takes his turn at the night-time baby feeds, baths the kids when he comes home and is, by anyone’s standards, a devoted family man. He then goes on his film journey, at the end of which he should have changed into a better person, but with so little room for improvement there’s absolutely nowhere for him to go. The writers attempt to counteract this by including a very, very long speech by Jamie, who complains to Mitch that Dave is a workaholic, but this just makes her seem like a Whining Winnie and it’s her who needs to change and not her super-dooper husband.

Mitch, on the other hand, smokes dope all day, has sex with too many women and acts in ‘lorno’ films , as opposed to ‘porno’, and this pathetic play on words is a prime example of the tortured humor this film aims for. Another fault Mitch has is that he is unable to stick at anything, and the audience is hit over the head so many times with this fact that it becomes irritating. Even more irritating is that, in a film about change, none of Mitch’s flaws are cured and at the end he appears with a new hot date, gropes Jamie’s butt, hits on his new step-mother and gives no clue as to where his career is heading.

The resolution of this film is a scene with Mitch and Dave peeing in a fountain, in a shopping mall, watched by droves of people, including young children. This is in extremely bad taste but fits right in with what has gone before and creates a new low in high budget filth that R ratings cannot adequately describe.


Canada – 5 August 2011

USA – 5 August 2011

Portugal – 11 August 2011

Slovenia – 14 August 2011

Estonia – 26 August 2011

Ireland – 26 August 2011

Italy – 9 September 2011

Lithuania- 9 September 2011

Denmark – 15 September 2011

Norway – 16 September 2011

Sweden – 16 September 2011

UK – 16 September 2011

France – 21 September 2011

Brazil – 23 September 2011

Finland – 23 September 2011

Hong Kong- 29 September 2011

Hungary – 6 October 2011

Singapore- 6 October 2011

Poland – 7 October 2011

Germany – 13 October 2011

Spain – 21 October 201