Friday, August 05, 2011

An Extremely Skippable R-Rated Switcheroo

THE CHANGE-UP (Dir. David Dobkin, 2011)

Let me just start by putting this out there – I like both of these guys.

Jason Bateman is an effective everyman who has shined in a string of lame ass comedies (this summer's HORRIBLE BOSSES isn't bad actually), and Ryan Reynolds can be obnoxious sure, but there's a good actor underneath all that smarm (see last year's BURIED if you don't believe me).

But this gross-out switcheroo puts their likability to the test. The premise of body switching was tired back in the late '80s, and smothering it in profanity and loads of disgusting pee, poop, and porn jokes does nothing to freshen it up.

In the first couple of minutes of the film there's a baby feces scene that unfortunately sets the terrible tone. I won't go into any detail, I'll just say that so much of the movie consists of things that most people would pay not to see.

So we have Bateman as a settled down family man, Reynolds a hard partying womanizer living in Atlanta (the location really doesn't matter except in skyline shots and a few minor references - it could've been set anywhere) who drunkenly one night when peeing in a fountain say in unison "I wish I had your life!"

The next morning they wake up and are in each other's bodies and have to deal with it - and so do we.

Bateman's wife doesn't believe them, and they find that the fountain has been moved so they are stuck in this filthy FACE OFF predicament for a few weeks until they find out where the Zoltar Speaks machine, sorry the fountain, was moved.

The only slightly amusing factor is Bateman and Reynold's mimicry of each other's amped up antics, otherwise this is a profoundly unfunny experience that just makes you feel sorry for everybody involved including Olivia Wilde (COWBOYS AND ALIENS) and Alan Arkin who luckily is only in a couple brief scenes.

This hasn't been the greatest summer for comedies, but this is the lowest of the low. Even if you're looking for a air conditioned reprieve from the current extreme heat, I'd opt for sweating. The stench with that is so much more bearable.

More later...

1 comment:

msmariah said...

Yep, I don't know why the "r" rated comedies take every inch given them, plus some. It's like don't just put something in the movie just b/c you can. Good review.