• R, 1 hr. 53 min.
  • Comedy
  • Directed By:
    David Dobkin
    In Theaters:
    Aug 5, 2011 Wide
    On DVD:
    Nov 8, 2011
  • Universal Pictures


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The Change-Up Reviews

Page 1 of 173
Josh L

Super Reviewer

July 5, 2012
It's not nearly as funny as it thinks it is, but rather crude and underwhelming considering the talent involved. It could have been much funnier. It's formulaic and far too long. It does have a few (and I mean few) funny parts, but for the most part I was just watching in disgust at what was happening on screen. Leslie Mann gives a solid performance, but this is the same shtick we've seen from Reynolds and Bateman their whole career.
Alexis N

Super Reviewer

May 13, 2011
Like Freaky Friday with a lot more dude humor and tits. I love Jason Bateman and Ryan Reynolds.. I don't think they could have gotten two better guys.
Daniel P

Super Reviewer

January 29, 2012
Maybe I shouldn't admit it - look how hard the critics were on this movie! - but I laughed my head off watching this film. Dude comedy of the crassest, highest order full of breasts and feces and a ridiculous premise. Even if the script were awful - it's not so bad - I can see why Reynolds (whose character is a floundering, stoner actor) and Bateman (a family-oriented lawyer on the verge of making partner at his firm) would take these roles: they're challenging. I thought that though Bateman had moments of hilarity in the scenes where the Reynolds tried to get out, Reynolds was much better at maintaining the "I've got Jason Bateman inside of me" illusion in all of his scenes. In fact, I'd go so far as to say he impressed me; I've not seen a lot of his movies, but few seem to have required heavy acting. As for this film: the ethical dilemmas that crop up are brushed over and done away with, and of course, all must be set right by the end, but in all The Change-Up is a fun, stupid movie - and I mean that as a compliment.

Super Reviewer

June 3, 2011
Two person suddenly changing bodies because each other envy the other's life until they realized that "I don't want his life, I like mine better", well that story definitely too typical even the famous one would be 'Freaky Friday' starring Lindsay Lohan and Jamie Lee Curtis.. Ryan Reynolds and Jason Bateman starring in this typical comedy as a friend who doing stupid thing one night and wishing something that beyond their imagination.. The performance from those two are just fine, since I know that they're two grew-up in a comedy industry.. The other cast? Nothing specific mentioned even though I kinda like the performance that Leslie Mann bring and the beauty of Olivia Wilde.. Overall, it's a funny but typical comedy..

Super Reviewer

January 12, 2011
Cast: Jason Bateman, Ryan Reynolds, Olivia Wilde, Leslie Mann, Mircea Monroe, Alan Arkin, Shannon Guess, Jeanine Jackson, Sydney Rouviere

Director: David Dobkin

Summary: In this contemporary reality-warp comedy, single playboy Mitch and responsible husband-father Dave are best buddies who want each other's life -- and they get the chance when they magically swap bodies after a night of drunken revelry.

My Thoughts: "Not a very original concept but the film delivers the funny. A bit raunchy kind of funny I might add. It's your usual case of body switching to figure out the life you had wasn't as bad as you thought, or the life you had could be better. Ryan and Jason are great in these comedy roles. But I also really love Leslie Mann. She is just one of the funniest gal's out there. So what you get is a raunchy, profanity filled, lessons learned comedy. You're either going to love it or hate it."
Thomas J

Super Reviewer

May 4, 2011
"Fuck" is obviously the filler word the writers embraced for this script. The overtly unnecessary use of the word even turned me off and I am not sensitive to cursing when it is natural.... here it felt forced and usually unneeded. Love Jason Bateman and Ryan Reynolds but this fell way short of putting their talents and skills to use in a very sophomoric movie.

Super Reviewer

January 19, 2012
three stars
Bathsheba Monk
Bathsheba Monk

Super Reviewer

January 6, 2012
This is a typical Hollywood romantic comedy, which I love, and the witty dialogue really pushes it up a notch. The actors are good too: Bateman and Reynolds were very convincing playing themselves playing their friend...or wait...it was almost Shakespearean. I saw it on DVD, having missed it in the theatre, and I would say it's a good evening's entertainment.
Summer W

Super Reviewer

January 2, 2012
It started off strong, but went downhill fast, which is always disappointing when a film initially shows potential.

Super Reviewer

December 17, 2011
For once, I'd love somebody to construct a body-swap movie where the characters realize the tropes and clichés of the body-swap pictures, a parody of the genre. It'd be nice if the characters instantly accepted their situation and knew that they would each have to learn some form of a life-lesson before changing back, and they tried to falsely engineer these saccharine life-lessons. Then it would be fun if they rented all the body-swap movies to write down notes and pointers on how best to deal with their unusual situation. Then, and here's the best part, both body-swap participants realize that they prefer their new situations. They reject turning back and simply enjoy the whims that come with their new existential home. They reject learning life-lessons and simply make the best of things. For a brief second, I thought The Change-Up might be that very movie but no such luck.

Dave (Jason Bateman) is a business-obsessed lawyer working his way to make partner in his firm. His wife, Jamie (Leslie Mann), and his three children, including twin babies, are neglected at home. Mitch (Ryan Reynolds) is a struggling actor/womanizer who inexplicably is best friends with Dave. After a night at a bar, the fellas relieve themselves in a public fountain. The fountain lady statue obviously has taken offense and thus curses the both of them. The next morning, each awakes to discover they are in different bodies. The business guy has to act like a jerk! The jerk has to act like a business guy! And then there's the matter of Jamie, who Dave/Mitch has strictly forbidden Mitch/Dave from sleeping with. Complicating matters further, the fountain has been moved by the Atlanta parks department and lost in bureaucratic limbo.

I knew I was in trouble by the first minute of the gross unfunny Change-Up. Not only do we suffer a poop joke so early, we have to witness a baby firing a stream of fecal matter into Dave's open mouth. That's just a taste of the unpleasantness that follows. The movie plays like an exaggerated, sophomoric cartoon written by children. It seems to exist in the same broad universe of 2009's abominable rom/com The Ugly Truth. What I wrote for that movie could easily apply to The Change-Up: "It's questionable whether the comedy even reaches juvenile levels. It's tasteless and piggish, but the weird part is that it comes across as knowledgeable on the subject of sex as a ten-year-old kid who just discovered his dad's secret stash of Playboys. It talks about the right stuff but does so in a clueless manner. It's like an exaggerated randy cartoon that chiefly plays to a male fantasy." I'm not opposed to raunchy sex comedies. However, I am opposed to sex comedies that can't figure out how to be funny without relying on easy gags. There's a difference between gross-out humor and simply being gross, though I don't believe this film knows what that difference is. So we're treated to an over-the-hill porn star, some anal defilement, a voraciously sexual nine-months pregnant lady, even more poop jokes, and 90 minutes of penis discussion. There's one actually interesting section where the guys debate the moral ambiguity of body-swap sex. Is it really cheating if Dave/Mitch is in somebody else's body? What is Mitch/Dave to do if his wife wants to have relations? Sadly, this lone moment of interest is crushed to death by more penis jokes and then forgotten. Reynolds (Green Lantern) and Bateman (Horrible Bosses) try to stay above the fray, fighting the good fight, but even they succumb to the unfunny script and disjointed direction.

After being a distasteful cartoon for so long, the film wants to be dramatic. It wants to be emotional. Tough break, Change-Up, because you cannot have it both ways. The dramatic parts ring resoundingly false, a last-ditch attempt to class up what is a deeply unclassy picture. The tonal shifts are jarring and land with crashing thuds. It's mostly because these characters are deeply unlikely, particularly the Mitch persona. He's not just some brash, rude individual who sidesteps social mores, no this guy is downright sociopathtic. He's egotistical, mean-spirited, and constantly boorish to every person in Dave's life. He's cruel to the daughter, he tells Dave's wife that she's not attractive, and then there's the babies whom he treats like a couple of rag dolls to toss around. At one point, Mitch/Dave is on the phone and the kids are left to get in trouble with the kitchen. We're not talking about getting messy with food, we're talking sticking their tiny hands in a spinning blender, throwing knives, and licking electrical outlets (it's like the Roger Rabbit cartoon that opened that flick). Instead of getting off the phone immediately, he continues talking and casually tends to the troubled tots per potential disaster. He teaches Dave's daughter "violence is always the answer." Mitch is an unrepentant jerk, and even when Bateman plays Mitch he's still irredeemable. Am I supposed to feel sorry for this obnoxious guy just because his dad thinks low of him? I think low of him. I detest him. Therefore, when Mitch/Dave is having his Big Emotional Catharsis, it seems facile and hollow. We can generally find a point of likeability for uncouth characters, but not Mitch. As presented, this character has no introspection and few redeeming qualities, so why do I want to spend nearly two hours with this person? You'd think Dave would be the "nice guy" alternative, but he's smarmy and neglectful too. Besides the "family man/pussy" and "playboy/prick" designations, the characters aren't different enough to warrant a change of scenery.

The Change-up has the single most bizarre moment of any film this calendar year, and it has nothing to do with the metaphysical mechanics of body swapping. Wilde (Cowboys & Aliens, TRON: Legacy) at one point gets rather frisky and takes off her clothes, the last piece her brassier. Mitch's hands cover her breasts for most of their onscreen freedom except for a handful of side angle shots where Wilde's breasts are out and ready to greet the audience. Except those are and are not Wilde's breasts. The in-demand actress was topless but had pasties to cover her nipples, which has always befuddled me why this is more acceptable ("I'll let everyone see 95% of my breasts but if it comes to nipple that's too far."). The pasties were then digitally removed in post-production and replaced with CGI nipples. Let me repeat that for the slower amongst you - CGI nipples! It was some guy's job to spend weeks painting nipples onto Olivia Wilde's breasts. That's the greatest assignment for an animator ever since a breast fondled itself in 2000's Hollow Man. But why was any of this necessary? Wilde's done nudity before in 2007's Alpha Dog (go head and Google it, horndogs). Granted the actress has a much higher profile now but why must we go through this dastardly trickery? Jessica Alba started this "digital nudity" trend by in Machete, but how far does this madness go? To make matters even worse, Mann (Funny People) has hinted that her own nudity in The Change-Up was also digitally altered, giving her a larger set of breasts (where is the media's feminist outrage when it's needed?). My libido doesn't know what to trust anymore. When I see nudity, can I trust that it's real, or was it doctored by some computer technicians who are laughing at me the whole time? What is happening to this world when it makes me distrust the very sight of breasts, normally a point of internal celebration now a confusing mystery again?!

The Change-Up is a mean-spirited, objectionable, classless, clueless comedy that's tonally all over the place. The characters are unlikable, the comic setups are cartoonishly drawn, and the dramatic shifts are flatly false. What's even worse is that the movie just seems downright hostile toward women. Just because it has a scene where Mann gets to vent the frustrations of the put-upon wife/mom doesn't mean women are given a fair shake. I'd be more forgiving if the vulgar comedy was ever funny. The Change-Up erroneously believes that having characters say dirty words or inappropriate remarks is the same as comedy. It can be a component of comedy but rarely does it work as a whole substitute. The jokes fall flat, the drama feels forced, and the characters range from nitwits to jerks to deviants and back to jerks once more for good measure. Why would anyone subject themselves to nearly two hours with these people? I just felt bad watching this movie. The Change-Up makes humanity look like a species that deserves an extended time-out.

Nate's Grade: D
Lewis C

Super Reviewer

April 5, 2011
The "body switch" plot has been done countless times in movies, but The Change-Up distinguishes itself a bit by being super raunchy and by benefit of it's two leads, Jason Bateman and Ryan Reynolds. Both guys are likable and pretty darn funny, and they elevate what would have otherwise been a pretty forgettable movie.

Super Reviewer

December 14, 2011
"Who says men can't change?"

Dave is a married man with two kids and a loving wife , and Mitch is a single man who is at the prime of his sexual life. One fateful night while Mitch and Dave are peeing in a fountain when lightning strikes and they switch bodies.

Body-swapping comedies are so 80s. But with The Change-Up, David Dobkin, director of the bloke hit The Wedding Crashers, puts a ribald spin to the genre. Those who can't stand scatological jokes and profanity ought to steer clear. Unless you're a Judd Apatow fan. Although in this movie, you should expect much less emotional poignancy. It is refreshing to see Jason Bateman and Ryan Reynolds take on atypical roles. As the overachieving lawyer Dave with a stiff upper lip, Bateman steps into those loafers comfortably. Often type-casted as the jokester, he is now the model family man who works so hard till his wife, Jamie, feels neglected. On the other hand, Reynolds who mostly comes across as serious or amiable, gets to be the mildly offensive, profanity-spewing lothario, Mitch.

Dave and Mitch have diametrically-opposed characters and they play off each other very well. A hilarious encounter with a Roman statue by a fountain in the park, while they take a leak, allows them to magically swap bodies. Seeing them switch bodies to play opposite personalities and scramble (amusingly) to adapt to their new lives is central to the enjoyment of the movie. And through living each other's lives, they learn to improve themselves. Dave enjoys independence and freedom from his stifling marriage, while in Mitch's body. At same time, getting jolted and turned off by Mitch's odd sexual partner, lewd profession and bizarre bedhopping antics. Meanwhile, Mitch gets to clean up his bawdiness and straighten up his waywardness while taking on the responsibilities of married life's daily grind, which includes changing the soiled diapers of two impish toddlers.

While the movie adopts the predictable narrative of flawed characters being transformed for the better, the journey is fun and occasionally goes ape. So check your brains at the cinema door and just go with the absurdism.

Super Reviewer

August 3, 2011
The Change-Up was Freaky Friday with two horny men. Growing up together, Mitch (Ryan Reynolds) and Dave (Jason Bateman) were inseparable best friends, but as the years have passed they've slowly drifted apart. While Dave is an overworked lawyer, husband and father of three, Mitch has remained a single, quasi-employed man-child who has never met a responsibility he liked. To Mitch, Dave has it all: beautiful wife Jamie (Leslie Mann), kids who adore him and a high-paying job at a prestigious law firm. To Dave, living Mitch's stress-free life without obligation or consequence would be a dream come true. Following a drunken night out together, Mitch and Dave's worlds are turned upside down when they wake up in each other's bodies and proceed to freak out. Despite the freedom from their normal routines and habits, the guys soon discover that each other's lives are nowhere near as rosy as they once seemed. Further complicating matters are Dave's sexy legal associate, Sabrina (Olivia Wilde) and Mitch's estranged father (Alan Arkin). With time not on their side, Mitch and Dave comically struggle to avoid completely destroying each other's lives before they can find a way to get their old ones back. The plot of this movie is not like any other body switching comedy, they hate it at first but then they start to learn some big life lesson and stuff like that, overall a very predictable and long movie that doesn't bring anything new to the table. The cast of the film is terrible, truly awful, Ryan Reynolds and Jason Bateman are supposed to be best friends, and they treat each other like crap, they are supposed to be helping eachother and it was like they were trying to sabotage their lives completely, they were so selfish, and they were so unfunny, I barely laughed once at this film. The jokes were also very bad, it is everyone saying f#ck like 24/7 and doing cliche jokes I felt have been in other films before, and worst of all as the movie progresses it gets less funnier and less funnier, and gets more sad and more sad. Overall this movie focuses so much on naked chicks and cliche comedy, that it fails as a film completely, and even a few touching moments can't save this film from going downhill, I did not enjoy this film.
Stuart B

Super Reviewer

September 24, 2011
Funny as hell. The head banging kid is the highlight. Fuck the reviews! This film rocks!
Cynthia S

Super Reviewer

May 16, 2011
Here's a movie that took awhile to warm up. Thirty minutes, or so, into this movie I was wondering why these two wonderful actors would involve themselves in such a lame project. But then it took off....like gangbusters!! Funny stuff ensues from then on. Original? No. Funny? Hell yes!! Definitely raunchy, though....not for children.
Kristijonas F

Super Reviewer

November 27, 2011
It's a slightly amusing distraction. Unfortunately, The Change-Up suffers from being much too vulgar for its own good.
Nicki M

Super Reviewer

November 22, 2011
Yeah, I can see why this one is coping flack. I actually don't mind a good body switch comedy. Yes, it's been done to death, but usually entertaining. It's not like i am overly hard to please - I even quite liked 17 Again!
This one suffers because it is not really funny. There are some gross out moments, but nothing that truly made me laugh. It also didn't feel all that convincing and I didn't really like either of the main characters.
It's okay to watch once, but I certainly won't be back for a rewatch.
Spencer S

Super Reviewer

June 20, 2011
The major flaw in everyone's opinion of this is the lack of originality. Not to say other films haven't been unoriginal and still funny, but the fact that people are truly getting sick of stars who churn out sucky comedies four times a year harshed this film's standing. The strange sub-genre of body switching comedies has, let's face it, been thoroughly and disgustingly explored in every way. This film could have been rewritten in any number of ways and it would simply be the same comedy without the horrific pretense. This film was specifically made to get the laughs of parents, and the jokes only land with them. The rest of us are either visibly horrified at the occasional gross out or are unmoved by it. It would have been better if both the characters were at least in some way likable. Who is the juvenile friend beside a bleak joke? He's not a true character, and so none of his storyline is believable or funny. He doesn't even learn anything, which I am usually a fan of, but it ruins the point of switching bodies when one of them does everything in his power to be morally reprehensible and yet gets the pretty girl at the end. It's not meant to be that way either and so suffers. What's worse is that Bateman is the actor who has to take on this disturbed persona, which just doesn't mesh with his likability as an actor. It's not just because Bateman is taking on this role contrary to what he has done, it's that I hate him based on the character. Reynolds has done this before, and with his pretty boy charm he gets away with it. The script isn't really funny, just situationally gross and there was nothing to take away from it artistically, morally, or in the sense of entertainment. Good luck if you're curious enough to take a whack at it.
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