Mitch and Dave have been best friends since childhood but couldn’t be more different. Dave is a career driven machine on the verge of making partner at his law firm and is also happily married with three kids. Mitch is a big kid who dabbles in acting, smokes a lot of weed and sleeps with just about anything that moves. On a random night out boozing, the two wish for each other’s lives as they’re taking a leak in a public fountain. When the two of them wake the next morning to realize they got exactly that, neither friend is prepared for truth.
Let me start by saying that as much as I love raunchy comedies, by the time I got to the theatre yesterday to see THE CHANGE-UP I’d already worked a double and all I had time for was the ten o’clock show, the fact that I didn’t fall asleep at the wheel was a surprise in itself. The good news is, this flick blew my expectations out of the water and had me wide-eyed and happy for the better part of two hours. This sub genre has its ups and downs but I can honestly say that this movie is the funniest comedy I’ve watched this year…by a long shot. I can’t count how many times I was laughing myself into tears, I mean even the promo trailer (where Reynolds and Bateman just joke around) had me in stitches. This flick is the real deal and well worth your money.
Now before I heap on the much deserved praise I will deal with the one elephant in the room, the body switching premise. I know, it’s weak, I wasn’t thrilled about it either, the last thing anyone needs is another FREAKY FRIDAY, raunchy or not. But seeing as how the boys are real life buds, a fact brought to life by their unrivalled chemistry (I haven’t seen two actors play off one another so flawlessly since Will Smith and Martin Lawrence in the BAD BOYS films), this small weakness quickly evaporates into the atmosphere to the sound of thunderous laughter. My girl isn’t even that big into raunchy comedies and she was laughing just as hard as I was.
I can’t deny that Mitch and Dave are somewhat stereotypical characters whose lives follow the same beat and are action packed with all the obvious obstacles we’ve seen before (big promotion on the horizon, potentially troubled marriage, the grass is always greener, I’ve been a slacker and never amounted to anything until now), but what movie doesn’t follow the beaten path these days? I can handle obvious as long as it’s hilarious, that, ladies and gentlemen is the game changer and this flick has humour in spades. Sure, it’s not everyone’s humour, I mean I love Ryan Reynolds’ character Mitch because I feel the same way he does about kids (not really my thing) and I’m also obsessed with swords but I also share Dave’s insane work ethic (I juggle three jobs while writing novels, attempting a social life and trying to keep my fiancée happy). Both characters felt real to me because I’ve gotten into some ridiculous mix-ups with some of my best friends too, no body swapping or peeing in public fountains but certainly more than enough to jam into a series of raunchy comedies.
THE CHANGE-UP is a non-stop laugh fest of epic proportions, it has everything I look for in an R rated comedy (if only THE HANGOVER PART 2 had been half this good): loads of laughs, fun characters acting like adults really do for a change, unsuspecting nudity (still not sure how I feel about Olivia Wilde’s CGI nipples though) and more cursing that you can shake a stick at. I haven’t seen Reynolds’ shine like this is in a comedy since VAN WILDER and WAITING and brother it’s good to have you back! Jason Bateman is a hoot as always and both Olivia Wilde and Leslie Mann were a welcome addition to a winning team. Some of this humour will no doubt be considered offensive, but no more than anything else in this genre. The good news is if you know this is your thing (and trust me, you fans know who you are), you’ll be more than happy you caught this one in theatres. Personally, I loved it.