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‘Change Up’ fails to change tired plot

Submitted by David Ellis on August 19, 2011 – 3:55 pmNo Comment

There is that friend in your life, you know the one, the one you believe is living the life you’ve always wanted. The old adage the grass is always greener on the other side is cliché, but sometimes painfully true, especially when in comes to coveting your friend’s life. At least that’s the way it works out in the movie “The Change Up.”

Written by Jon Lucas and Scott Moore, the men who wrote the  “The Hangover,” and directed by David Dobkin, whose credits include “Fred Claus” and “Wedding Crashers.”
“Change” tells the story of David Lockwood (Jason Bateman), and Mitch Planko (Ryan Reynolds), who have been friends all their lives, but due to changes in life, have drifted apart over the years.

Lockwood, a lawyer and father of three, aspires to be a partner in his firm. Planko is a man-child, some-time employed actor, still not grown out of his college years. After a night of drinking, comparing life stories and sexcapades, Dave and Mitch stroll through a park to their vehicles, while talking about how much each of them wishes they had the other’s life.

As happens when one drinks a lot the two men suddenly feel the call of nature and decide that, since no one’s looking, they should just pee in a nearby fountain. As they are draining their lizards, they simultaneously wish for the other person’s life, and poof, all the lights go out for a few seconds.

The next morning the big dumb fun begins. After the initial panic of realizing they have swapped bodies,  Mitch and Dave decide the way to fix the problem is to pee in the fountain again. But you guessed it, the fountain has been moved. Realizing the quest to find it again will take time, the two come to the conclusion that they must live each other’s lives while they wait.

Chock-full of potty humor and borderline raunchy sexual situations, which have come to be the staple of such comedies, the storyline plays out as it always does in the body switch scenario.
Dave and Mitch learn that it’s not all it’s cracked up to be when you’re living the dream that is someone else’s life. They also learn a lot about themselves and the value of their friendship. Be careful what you wish for (while peeing into fountains).

The concept of the body switch has been beaten to death. These days an original concept for a movie is hard to come by. We are living in the age of the remake and revamping. “The Change Up” was an OK movie. While Bateman and Reynolds are top-notch actors, the potty humor, physical comedy and borderline raunchiness are its only saving graces.

Don’t waste a lot of money trying to see it. Wait until it goes to the dollar theater or comes out on video.

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