Urge to see film rising … RISING.

Theatrical Release Date: 08/05/2011
Director: David Dobkin
Cast: Ryan Reynolds, Jason Bateman, Leslie Mann, Olivia Wilde, Alan Arkin, Mircea Monroe
Rated: R for pervasive strong crude sexual content and language, some graphic nudity and drug use.
Runtime: 1 hour, 52 minutes


Somedays you’re the statue …

Throwing its hat into the proverbial comedy ring this weekend is “The Change-Up”, starring Ryan Reynolds and Jason Bateman. (It’s Hollywood’s test to see if one summer can have too much of either actor.)

The casting was decent and the plot is simple enough. It contrasts the foul mouthed, single Casanova, Mitch Planko (Reynolds), against the quiet, loyal, family man Dave Lockwood (Bateman). In a weak moment (or weak bladder moment if you prefer), each wishes for the other’s life and the hilarity ensues.

This movie is full of bad language, uncomfortable laughter, potty humor, and a fair amount of nudity (all female) and fully earned it’s R rating. Obviously, this isn’t like all the PG body swap films that have come before it. And while it will unsurprisingly never be an Oscar contender, this bastard love child of “The Hangover” and “Freaky Friday” is entertaining and funny.

I did have a few minor issues, however. First, you didn’t get to know the two main characters very well prior to the switch, as it happens early in the film. Second, the actors’ portrayal of each other after the switch was weak in multiple places. Third, there are a number of unnecessary computer generated scenes involving infant twins. Lastly, this movie was a touch too long, coming in at just under 2 hours if you factor in the credits.

As for the good elements, there are a number of hilarious analogies and quotes spattered throughout the film. In general, Bateman’s performance was stronger, while Reynolds’ dialogue was funnier – especially when giving fatherly advice to Lockwood’s daughter. Not to mention the bevy of beautiful women including Leslie Mann, Olivia Wilde, and Mircea Monroe. It was refreshing to see a comedy again, but overall I was unimpressed, with “The Change-Up” barely earning a 3 out of 5.

3 out of 5