August 7, 2011 by Vinnie Leduc
There are a handful of parts throughout The Change-Up that aren’t that funny, but the film is hurting for laughs most when Bateman and Reynolds play their original characters. While Horrible Bosses was definitely the better executed comedy, Jason Bateman’s performance in The Change-Up, especially as Ryan Reynolds’ character, was clearly the superior.
Similar things could be said about Reynolds, who also thrives in his switched body role and not as his extremely obnoxious original one. Leslie Mann, a prominent character in many comedies nowadays probably thanks to help from husband Judd Apatow, shows off her acting chops; meanwhile, like in Cowboys & Aliens, Olivia Wilde and her CGI nipples are there too, but I’m not complaining.
And I’m not really complaining about The Change-Up for the most part. It’s entering the fray as an R-rated adult comedy during a summer that’s already saturated with them and still not done with them yet with 30 Minutes or Less set to release next week. The Change-Up is able to fit in nicely with its peers despite being bookended by a somewhat faltering beginning and end (even the mid-credits stinger wasn’t worth staying for).
At least director David Dobkin delivers a film more enjoyable than his most recent work, the forgettable family comedy Fred Claus. Even though The Change-Up revisits the raunchy level of Dobkin’s smash hit Wedding Crashers and the co-writers’ even bigger hit The Hangover, overall it falls short of both popular successes. The Change-Up gets 3.0 out of 5 stars or B- or Good.