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Film Review: The Change Up

Aug 12, 2011 04:32PM, Published by Wendy Sipple, Categories: In Print




Hollywood’s newest body switching comedy stars Ryan Reynolds and Jason Bateman as two childhood buddies that have grown into to starkly different adults. Bateman’s character Dave, is a super successful lawyers with a growing family. Reynold’s Mitch character is the single man without a real job and no relationships. The two wish for each other’s life while out at a bar and end up getting their wish. Now the two must resume each other’s lives while they figure out how to change back.

This is not the first switching bodies movie and probably not the last, so this movie’s aim is not originality, but effectiveness. Unfortunately it is not nearly as effective as it should have or could have been. The main problem with the film is the character of Mitch. They set him up to be so dislikable and so irresponsible that all the jokes with him in it come off as abusive and mean instead of funny. It also makes no sense that a guy as accomplished as Dave would keep such company or his wife Jaime would let this guy anywhere near their kids. The movie’s humor was so misguided that it thought a one year old playing with knives or nearly sticking their hand in a running blender was comical? Ryan Reynolds was actually not a bad choice for the role of a charming, crude lady’s man, but I doubt there would have been an actor alive that could have made the character of Mitch palatable.
The screenwriters also seem completely undecided about which direction to take the movie. The script is chalked full of contradictions and mixed messages. The characters in the movie are shallow and their actions make little sense. There were a few moments in the movie that seemed to be going toward a heartfelt message about love, marriage, and life but those moments are quickly derailed by senseless bad humor and plot contrivances. The movie has almost no flow and the pacing of it all is just odd.
The Change Up is not completely void of laughs. There are a few moments that made me chuckle (most of those were shown on the commercials). If you are able to look past several huge flaws there were moment that were close to working, but overall The Change Up fails to measure up. In a year loaded with well done comedies The Change Up will quickly be forgotten and deservedly so. Where 1988’s Big is a shining example of the body change premise done flawlessly, The Change Up would serve as a better guide of how not to do it.
Films like The Change Up – Freaky Friday, Vice Versa and Like Father Like Son


Justin Buettner is Style's resident movie dude! How did he get this role? Well, he graduated from Loyola Marymount University with a Bachelor of Arts in film Production and a duel minor in Animation and Business with an emphasis in the entertainment field. He later went on to work on several independent films in various key roles including writer and later worked in the special effects field as a motion capture artist. He has since relocated to the Sacramento area with his family and continues writing for small independent films in addition to his movie reviews for Style Magazine.

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