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A Man and His Movies: ‘The Change-Up’ takes body switch genre to new level

By Jackson Santy ’13

“The Change-Up” – Starring: Jason Bateman and Ryan Reynolds

The comedic “switch-up” movie subgenre has been around for decades. Films such as “Big” and “Freaky Friday” have always attracted viewers across multiple generations.

However, this month’s release of “The Change-Up” takes the switch-up comedy to a whole new level of humor and vulgarity.

The film’s stars, Ryan Reynolds (“Green Lantern”) and Jason Bateman (“Arrested Development,” “Horrible Bosses”), deliver a raunchy, sidesplitting performance, leaving viewers laughing and repeating quotes for days.

The premise of the film is basically the same as any other switch-up comedy; two characters who are polar opposites experience a magical phenomenon that causes them to switch bodies.

In “The Change-Up,” Bateman (a stoic working family man) and Reynolds (a womanizing, self-centered slob) are best friends.

After a night of heavy alcohol consumption, the two men make the mistake of saying “I wish I had your life” while relieving their bladders in a fountain with mystical properties.

Shazam, the two men wake up the next morning and to their horror, discover that they have switched lives.

Although the plot is very similar to the previously mentioned films, “The Change-Up” has gone where the switch-up comedy has never dared to go.

I found myself nearly choking on my popcorn at times due to the hilarious antics and banter in the film.

The one flaw I found in the movie is the same criticism I have for most body switch comedies.

After switching bodies, the characters do not portray each other’s personalities very accurately.

Reynolds and Bateman both seemed to have over-exaggerated their role reversal to a point where it was just too much of a joke to watch.

For example, prior to switching bodies Reynolds’ character is a deadbeat overly-flirtatious working several dead end jobs.

After the switch, Bateman’s portrayal of Reynolds’ character is of an insolent, ignoramus and destructive person, who drops babies on kitchen counters.

Whereas, Bateman’s character prior to the switch is an overworked husband and father of three, somehow turns into a nerdy, socially awkward guy who has no idea how to speak to women.

Overall, I give the film a seven out of 10 horseshoes for providing good sophomoric humor; however, the cheesy acting and plot holes lose points for me.

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