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IN SHORT: From the "The Grass Is Greener On The Other Side" Department . . . [Rated R for pervasive strong crude sexual content and language, some graphic nudity and drug use.112 minutes]
Every year there is at least one movie that strives to be Animal House for a new generation. As the years have passed that has meant more toilet humor than can be disposed of with one flush. The Change-Up gets down and dirty, and we do mean dirty, from the second minute of its nearly two hour running time. Add nudity and enough nasty words that that would make George Carlin smile from the Other Side and you get a movie that's really gross and, depending on how many of these things you have seen in your time on this planet, is either grossly funny or just gross.
The Change-Up is the story of two characters who swap minds and have to live each other's lives for a time. It's been done before in other ways but it's new to someone so this time out we have ...
Mitch Planko (Ryan Reynolds), an "actor" -- maybe you saw his commercial for "meat" -- who has just broken into the "lorno" industry (pseudo-porn flicks of the kind seen late night on Cinemax). Mitch lives in an apartment that looks like he's still in high school (we would have gone with freshman college but the script insists HS). He has problems with his aging lothario dad (Alan Arkin) and wishes for the stability that his best friend has.
That best friend is Dave Lockwood (Jason Bateman). Dave is one step away from making partner at a law firm, culminating nine years of non-stop work. He loves his wife and kids and wishes he had the free for all life his best friend does. Dave's wife Jamie (Leslie Mann) loves him dearly but is beginning to feel ignored; this with an 8 year old daughter in the house and baby twins in the next room. What Jamie doesn't know is that there's a smoking hot paralegal or associate lawyer named Sabrina McArdle (Olivia Wilde) at Dave's firm who may have eyes on him.
Mitch and Dave have known each other from kid-hood. After one long guy's night out the pair, kidneys full of beer to bursting, relieve themselves in a public fountain. They just happen to be expressing for each other's lives at the time. There's a magical blackout in their hometown of San Francisco and the next morning Dave wakes up in Mitch's body and vice versa.
As always, the set up is the weakest part of the story. Is the rest of this mess funny and or interesting to watch? Actually, yeah, it is. As long as you don't heave up your popcorn in the first thirty seconds of the film the rest of the tale is perfectly adequate.
Cranky is becoming an old fart. We pay attention to a real audience when we watch these films and the one we were sitting in were laughing hysterically. We weren't hysterical but once we settled down, we didn't wish we were anywhere else.
On average, a first run movie ticket will run you Ten Bucks. Were Cranky able to set his own price to The Change Up, he would have paid . . .
It's a dateflick for those that haven't had that first wedding
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