Oh Ebert! You pickled pachyderm, have fun at a movie once in a while!
I am going on record saying “The Change-Up” is just plain hysterical! Just like “The Hangover Part 2” this movie is a no holds barred, nothing sacred comedy that will leave you gasping for air. Well, if you aren’t an old guy like a certain critic we all know.
There was a boom of ‘body-switching’ comedies in the late 1980s. From 1987 to 1988 there were four, the best being the 1988 classic, “Big”, which got Tom Hanks, his first ever Oscar nomination. The movie turned Tom into a serious leading man and he would win his first Oscar just four years later.
You go from the classic “Big” to the forgettable ones like “18 Again” and “Like Father, Like Son” but I did have a soft spot for “Vice Versa” starring Fred Savage and Judge Reinhold. I still think it is an underrated 80s movie and has a great comedic performance by Reinhold. One of his most memorable.
“Body-switching” returned in the early 2000’s with “The Hot Chick”, “Freaky Friday” and “13 Going on 30”. Freaky being by far the best of the bunch and back when Lindsay Lohan was all cute and adorable. Man, times have changed.
In “The Change-Up”, lawyer-father Jason Bateman decides to go out on a guy’s night with his best friend and struggling actor, Ryan Reynolds. They watch the game and get hammered. They wander through a park and take a whizz in a fountain while admiring each other’s lives.
The next morning like most ‘body-switching’ comedies each wakes up shocked that the person is in the wrong body. (Could I just wake up as Olivia Wilde’s husband, just for a day! Please, with jelly beans on top!)
There is the standard shock look in the mirror, one guy taking advantage of the other guy’s lives, the learning about your life when you look like someone else (yes your dad loves you, why don’t you know?) and all the body-switching cliches are here.
But why I loved this movie so much was because the performances. Bateman and Reynolds chemistry is like these guys have known each other all their lives. I already wanna see another comedy starring these guys together. Bateman is better as the straight guy and Reynolds I have to say was channeling his TV alter-ego “Berg” with this role. Except Berg is all grown up and rated R now.
What I also liked about this movie is that it pulled no punches at all. Like this summer’s huge hit “The Hangover Part 2” this movie doesn’t apologize for nuthin’! And I like it that way.
You have strippers, kids in danger, pornstars, lots of drugs, dildos, jew jokes, scrotum/flatulence jokes and there is even an “Angry Birds” joke! There is no stone unturned in this laugh riot and I like it that way! Hit me with your best shot, fire away!
Yes it’s formula, yes it’s predictable, yes it’s sweet and yes it has Olivia Wilde. Just the way I also like my banana splits!! The movie is hysterical and I will stand by that!
If you have had a stressful week at work, just smoked a doobie or out to the pub with some friends, then you gotta check this movie out. This is a party movie like the iconic “Animal House” or “Caddyshack” back then they were this movie.
Party on! Dudes!
3.5 out of 5
So Says the Soothsayer