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Reviews
STAR RATINGS EXPLAINED
Unmissable 5 Stars
Excellent 4 Stars
Good 3 Stars
Poor 2 Stars
Tragic 1 Star

POSTER ART
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FILM DETAILS
Certificate
15
Cast
Ryan Reynolds
Olivia Wilde
Jason Bateman
Leslie Mann.
Directors
David Dobkin.
Screenwriters
Jon Lucas
Scott Moore.
Running Time
112 minutes

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The Change-Up
It’s Vice Versa for the iPad age


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Plot
Dave (Bateman) is an exhausted family man. Mitch (Reynolds) is a Lothario whose life is going nowhere. One night, while drunkenly peeing in a park fountain, they make a wish to switch lives. And hey presto...


Review
The Change-Up
While Hollywood hasn't yet completely scraped the bottom of the body-swap-comedy barrel — that will come with the arrival of a film in which Billy Zane switches souls with a dolphin — it’s certainly probing said barrel’s gloomier recesses. In recent years we’ve had films in which a jock becomes a wallflower (It’s A Boy Girl Thing), a woman becomes her sister (Wish Upon A Star) and a hottie becomes Rob Schneider (The Hot Chick). Now we get The Change-Up, whose novel twist on the formula is that it’s rude. Very rude. From the opening scene, where effluence squirts from a baby’s bottom into Jason Bateman’s mouth, to the MacGuffin of a magical fountain one must urinate in to activate, it’s so determinedly crass that it’s a wonder they managed to cut a green-band trailer at all.

No doubt the whole conceit was ‘inspired’ by the success of The Hangover, whose box office showed that R-rated comedy can be a gold mine, leading to the likes of Bad Teacher, Bridesmaids et al. But the odd funny set-piece can’t disguise the fact that The Change-Up (written by Hangover scribes Jon Lucas and Scott Moore) stretches the thinnest of stories to snapping point. The body-swap gold standard, Big, had a big heart beneath its antic action. The same can’t be said of this, which uses the set-up to get one of our heroes into bed with a heavily pregnant ‘comedy’ nympho, and the other into a scenario where he can be offensive to Japanese businessmen.

The cheap laughs and flashes of female nudity (some of it from a very game Leslie Mann; much of it, oddly, digitally tweaked) don’t sit well with the serious stuff: a subplot about the family man’s wife, who is feeling neglected, and another about the player’s dad, who wants to re-connect with his progeny, both of which feel tacked on.
That the movie works at all is mostly due to the charms of its lead duo, Bateman and Ryan Reynolds, neither of whom usually operates in this raunchy, F-bomb-laden realm. It’s actually quite refreshing to watch them cut loose with unspeakable profanities — especially the former, who’s too often stuck with stodgy-square roles — and there’s an easy rhythm to their jibber-jabber that makes this a painless watch. Sadly, it’s nothing more than that.


Verdict
Despite the promise of the title, this a fairly stale offering, plodding through the beats of a well-worn subgenre but failing to add much more than a foul mouth.


Reviewed by Nick de Semlyen

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Your Reviews

Average user rating for The Change-Up
Empire Star Rating

Body swap and bodily functions

Beneath the excessive profanity, liquid poop and Mann’s CGI breasts (is that a first?), there beats a very regular body-swap comedy. Hard-working lawyer and father of three Bateman is envious of his best friend Reynolds’ swinging single lifestyle so one night when they’re drunk and urinating in a magic fountain (no, that’s not a typo), they find themselves in each other’s body. Comic hijinks ensue, most of which are very rude, but the two male leads are affable enou... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by RJNeb2 at 11:45, 17 October 2014 | Report This Post


The Change-Up

Bateman and Reynolds are fun to watch, but The Change-Up lacks the wit and charm that these body-switching comedies call for. ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by norgizfox at 03:32, 20 August 2012 | Report This Post


RE: Bateman is a hero

L: thetruth L: musht L: thetruth L: musht L: thetruth L: musht L: thetruth Did i miss something here??? do appreciate what you said bout the scenes with the kids (where Bateman-Mitch has to do his first midnight feeding), I didn't find them funny but I thought the rest of it was grand more than simply not funny,and not just those scenes. And the ending???? he ending was totally predictable, were you not expecting it, disappoi... More

Posted by musht at 23:21, 06 October 2011 | Report This Post


RE: Bateman is a hero

L: musht L: thetruth L: musht L: thetruth L: musht L: thetruth Did i miss something here??? do appreciate what you said bout the scenes with the kids (where Bateman-Mitch has to do his first midnight feeding), I didn't find them funny but I thought the rest of it was grand more than simply not funny,and not just those scenes. And the ending???? he ending was totally predictable, were you not expecting it, disappointed in it? A movi... More

Posted by thetruth at 20:40, 06 October 2011 | Report This Post


RE: Bateman is a hero

L: thetruth L: musht L: thetruth L: musht L: thetruth Did i miss something here??? do appreciate what you said bout the scenes with the kids (where Bateman-Mitch has to do his first midnight feeding), I didn't find them funny but I thought the rest of it was grand more than simply not funny,and not just those scenes. And the ending???? he ending was totally predictable, were you not expecting it, disappointed in it? A movie like this the en... More

Posted by musht at 18:14, 06 October 2011 | Report This Post


RE: Bateman is a hero

L: musht L: thetruth L: musht L: thetruth Did i miss something here??? do appreciate what you said bout the scenes with the kids (where Bateman-Mitch has to do his first midnight feeding), I didn't find them funny but I thought the rest of it was grand more than simply not funny,and not just those scenes. And the ending???? he ending was totally predictable, were you not expecting it, disappointed in it? A movie like this the ending is always gonna ... More

Posted by thetruth at 14:57, 06 October 2011 | Report This Post


RE: Bateman is a hero

L: thetruth L: musht L: thetruth Did i miss something here??? do appreciate what you said bout the scenes with the kids (where Bateman-Mitch has to do his first midnight feeding), I didn't find them funny but I thought the rest of it was grand more than simply not funny,and not just those scenes. And the ending???? he ending was totally predictable, were you not expecting it, disappointed in it? A movie like this the ending is always gonna be all "heartfelt ... More

Posted by musht at 12:09, 06 October 2011 | Report This Post


RE: Bateman is a hero

L: musht L: thetruth Did i miss something here??? do appreciate what you said bout the scenes with the kids (where Bateman-Mitch has to do his first midnight feeding), I didn't find them funny but I thought the rest of it was grand more than simply not funny,and not just those scenes. And the ending???? ... More

Posted by thetruth at 01:10, 06 October 2011 | Report This Post


RE: Bateman is a hero

L: thetruth Did i miss something here??? do appreciate what you said bout the scenes with the kids (where Bateman-Mitch has to do his first midnight feeding), I didn't find them funny but I thought the rest of it was grand ... More

Posted by musht at 00:39, 06 October 2011 | Report This Post


RE: Bateman is a hero

Did i miss something here??? ... More

Posted by thetruth at 23:35, 05 October 2011 | Report This Post


RE: Bateman is a hero

Have to say I was pleasantly surprised by this film. I was expecting it to be shit and whilst it was by no means fantastic I did enjoy a different take on the body swap comedy. The two leads are very believable at playing each other which also surprised me. definitely 3/5 ... More

Posted by musht at 23:03, 05 October 2011 | Report This Post


Bateman is a hero

Anything with Jason Bateman automatically deserves more than 2. ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by djimi42 at 17:28, 28 September 2011 | Report This Post


Why the poor reviews

this film made me laugh more than either the Hangover 2 or Bridesmaids which have had far better reviews. Its not a masterpiece by any stretch but its a solid 3 out of 5 at least with two central performances which are comedy gold. ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by ChudMonkey at 11:35, 28 September 2011 | Report This Post


The Change-Up: Review

The Change-Up is a good film. It had a good story, good cast and had funny moments in the film. The problems with the film is some scenes aren't funny and we have seen these kind's of film many times. Overall a good comedy, better then I expected. I would recommend to go see this film. ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by Edward9630 at 00:59, 25 September 2011 | Report This Post


Very funny

Yet another hilarious comedy underrated by Empire. I agree with the majority of reviews on this site, but when it comes to comedies I think Empire have lost the plot. This is a brilliantly funny comedy, with great turns from both Reynolds and Bateman. How Empire can rate this (and the also hilarious Horrible Bosses) below The Other Guys is just beyond me. ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by Whistler at 22:44, 22 September 2011 | Report This Post


Very funny

Yet another hilarious comedy underrated by Empire. I agree with the majority of reviews on this site, but when it comes to comedies I think Empire have lost the plot. This is a brilliantly funny comedy, with great turns from both Reynolds and Bateman. How Empire can rate this (and the also hilarious Horrible Bosses) below The Other Guys is just beyond me. ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by Whistler at 22:39, 22 September 2011 | Report This Post


RE: Wow

This is offensively bad and not funny. Starts with poo going into someones mouth and its downhill from there. I like American Pie,but this is rubbish.There are unsavoury scenes involving small kids too. Then,it trys to moralise! Ryan Reynolds...oh dear. 1 star. ... More

Posted by thetruth at 19:47, 19 September 2011 | Report This Post


Wow

This film contains one of the finest moments ever to grace the silver screen: Olivia Wilde in her undies. ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by tysmuse at 20:32, 17 September 2011 | Report This Post


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