Blu-ray Review: Awful ‘The Change-Up’ Wastes Talented Cast

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CHICAGO – Just today, we wrote of the stellar ensemble in this summer’s “Crazy, Stupid, Love” and how well-used they were in that enjoyable romantic dramedy. On the other end of the comedy scale, we have “The Change-Up,” out on Blu-ray and DVD tomorrow. Consider this an advance warning to not waste your time with this reprehensible excuse for a movie. Only the sheer talent of the two leads keep it from total disaster. Rarely have so many talented people been used so ineffectively. Blu-Ray Rating: 1.5/5.0
Blu-Ray Rating: 1.5/5.0

“The Change-Up” opens with a grown man getting ridiculously exaggerated baby poop projected into his open mouth. It doesn’t get much smarter from there. Through an embarrassing screenplay, we have to watch a man shave another’s balls, another smile as he takes a dump, a pregnant woman trying to mount somebody, and a man stick his finger in a woman’s ass while shooting a porno. Seriously, the guys in “The Hangover” would say the gross-out humor here goes a bit too far. I would say that a twelve-year-old boy took over his dad’s screenwriting project. Except most twelve-year-old boys aren’t this puerile. Most are better writers.

The Change-Up
The Change-Up
Photo credit: Universal Pictures

Like someone falling asleep after a twisted double feature of “Freaky Friday” and “Wedding Crashers,” “The Change-Up” centers on body-switching but with a well-promoted hard-R edge. Single player Mitch Planko (Ryan Reynolds) trades places with family man Dave Lockwood (Jason Bateman) and the two are forced to deal with each other’s ridiculous lives. Can the slacker actor become a successful attorney and family man? Can the uptight workaholic loosen up and have some fun? Will everyone learn a lesson by the final reel? Have you seen a movie before?

The Change-Up was released on Blu-ray and DVD on November 8th, 2011
The Change-Up was released on Blu-ray and DVD on November 8th, 2011
Photo credit: Universal

“The Change-Up” is like that scene in “The 40-Year-Old Virgin” in which the title character is trying to talk about having sex and clearly betraying the fact that he has never done the deed. In other words, it’s a movie about parenthood and bachelorhood that doesn’t understand a damn think about either. The family scenes are nauseating and misogynistic and the life of a single guy is treated with such ridiculous broad strokes that most sitcom writers would send it back for rewrites. What does work about “The Change-Up” is buried under the weight of the gross-out jokes that just aren’t funny.

Perhaps the worst thing about “The Change-Up” is the talent sucked in by the script. If this had no-names and “National Lampoon” before the title, it would be a lot more forgivable but Jason Bateman, Ryan Reynolds, Leslie Mann, and even Olivia Wilde deserve better than this. The two male leads actually make it out relatively unscathed. Reynolds gets to have some fun doing his Bateman impersonation but it is his co-star who truly steals the piece, dropping more f-bombs than Scarface and telling one raunchy joke after another. Bateman has some of the best timing of any actor working today and he truly shows it here. It’s just a shame that it’s at the expense of such a stupid script.

Mann and Wilde aren’t so lucky due to the insanely misogynistic script. Women are either always-cleaning, never-screwing, mostly-crying, sometimes-breastfeeding wives or hard-drinking, sports-loving, tattooed, hot-as-hell single girls. Guess what guys? Some wives like sports and some single girls are high maintenance.

Worst of all, the movie ends with that kind of nauseating hypocrisy that makes a movie like this truly horrendous. A film this gross can’t get sentimental and teach lessons about what’s important in life. It’s undeserved, manipulative trash. The Blu-ray version is unrated but that means this already-interminable movie (it runs an INSANE 113 minutes in its theatrical version) would run five minutes longer. No one needs more “Change-Up.”

Special Features:
o Deleted Scene
o Hilarious Gag Reel
o Time for a Change: The Making of The Change-Up
o Feature Commentary and More
o Pocket Blu
o D-Box Motion Code Enabled
o BD Live Enabled
o Digital Copy Of Feature Film

“The Change-Up” stars Jason Bateman, Ryan Reynolds, Leslie Mann, Olivia Wilde, and Alan Arkin. It was written by Jon Lucas & Scott Moore and directed by David Dobkin. It is rated R and will be released on Blu-ray and DVD on November 8th, 2011. content director Brian Tallerico

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