For some reason, the films about "body switch" had always been a province of the childish (or juvenile) cinema, but this time, The Change-Up tries to transplant that classic formula to the vulgar and scatological field of the modern adult comedy, with a mediocre result. However, even though the main characters in here are two immature men (instead of mother and daughter, father and son, young man and old man, etc.), we can be sure that the lessons will be exactly the same, even though in order to learn them, it is necessary to eat excrement from digital babies, seduce the secretary, and participate in a "lorno" (light porn) flick. I wish the film was as funny as it sounds.
The two previous films from director David Dobkin were the tedious Wedding Crashers and the atrocious Fred Claus. The Change-Up is better than those two films (something which is not big compliment), because it creates a credible friendship between two men with different but compatible personalities, there are some moderately funny moments and the fleeting dramatic moments feel well executed. However, on the other hand, the film show few narrative ambition, many excessively predictable jokes and improbable situations, not exactly because of the implicit "magic" on the premise, but because the supporting characters have to act like authentic idiots in order to let the idiot main characters continue with their chain of bilge without worrying about bulky logic or inconvenient credibility.
Jason Bateman and Ryan Reynolds bring charisma to their performances, but I think that the individuality from their characters should have been better handled, independently from the actor who represents them. While I was watching The Change-Up, I remembered the remake of Freaky Friday, where Lindsay Lohan and Jamie Lee Curtis found the exact tone to mutually interpret each other, to the point in which we stopped watching the actress and accepted the character. However, Bateman and Reynolds simply change their clothes and say more (or less) rudeness according to the character they interpret. I think that this film would have been better if it had employed two main actors completely different with each other, in order to accentuate the "exchange" with genuine acting. For example, imagine if instead of Bateman, we had Jonah Hill; or if instead of Reynolds, Chris Rock would have been hired.
Despite its mediocrity, The Change-Up kept me moderately entertained, something which makes it worthy of a slight recommendation. However, I have to say that there are much better adult comedies, and much better films about "body switch" than this one.
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