Hollywood Product - The Change-Up is a lot funnier than you'd think
Hollywood's latest take on the body-swap comedy is just tasteless enough
GENRE: Freaky Friday for dudes
THE PITCH: Fast-talking player/aspiring actor Mitch (Ryan Reynolds) and uptight family man/lawyer Dave (Jason Bateman) swap bodies when they simultaneously pee in a fountain and wish for each other's lives. The only way for the lifelong best friends to reverse the spell is to return to the fountain and wish for their lives back, except the fountain's gone missing.
MONEY SHOTS: One of Dave's twin babies projectile poops into his eye — and mouth. The other twin has the painful habit of banging his head against the crib. Mitch's big break is a LORNO, light porno. Tatiana, Mitch's midweek booty call, is so pregnant you can make out the baby's toes. Dave's twins display impressive knife-throwing skills.
BEST LINES: "Don't back that thing up at me. I can't believe you'd come at me guns hot," Dave says to his wife Jamie (Leslie Mann) when she gets into bed butt first after a long stint on the toilet. "One of Dave's balls feels like two balls — it's like you have three balls, you have a bouquet of balls," says Jamie. "You'd be early too if all you did was eat hummus and masturbate. What's hummus? A Mediterranean spread. What's masturbate? A cracker," say Dave and Leslie in an exchange with their young daughter Cara.
RAUNCHIEST LINE SUITABLE FOR PRINT: "I want to strap you to my face and say the alphabet," says Mitch (as Dave) to Dave's assistant Sabrina (Olivia Wilde).
YOU CAN FIND ME IN THE A: The Change-Up takes place in Atlanta and was shot on location here. In fact, Atlanta's so present in the film that you could easily make a drinking game out of it. Mitch and Dave stroll through Woodruff Park, where they pee in the fountain. We get a bird's-eye-view of the skyline when blackouts roll through the city as Dave and Mitch make their wishes. The two friends watch a Braves/Marlins game at a bar. Later, Mitch and Sabrina catch the Bravos at Turner Field. Mitch and Dave visit City Hall to try and locate the fountain. Mitch has R.Land's "Loss Cat" hanging in his bathroom. A few scenes take place around the lake at Piedmont Park. There's a lunch at Abbatoir and a dinner at Ecco. Mitch rollerblades in Freedom Park. Phipps Plaza appears as the Peachtree Galleria.
FASHION STATEMENTS: The two struggle to dress their new parts: Mitch's take on attorney-wear seems "Love Boat"-inspired, while Dave's date-night look falls somewhere between prep-school uniform and sex offender.
FLESH FACTOR: The LORNO's female lead lets it all hang out, and in doing so, reminds us of the dangers of plastic surgery. The LORNO also features the requisite greasy European in a banana hammock. There are topless shots of both Jamie and Sabrina, although Wilde wore pasties during film and the nipples we see (not hers) were CGI'd on in post-production.
THE BOTTOM LINE: Did we really need another body-swap comedy? At first glance, no. But writers Jon Lucas and Scott Moore (The Hangover) avoid bogging down the story with overly earnest self-reflection. The Change-Up maintains just the right level of tastelessness, and Wedding Crashers director David Dobkin succeeds in breathing new life into one of Hollywood's favorite film formulas.