By Christa Ktorides – Ah the old body-swap device. We’ve seen it many times before and one must assume we’ll see it again. A tired cliché for sure but one that can still raise a chuckle if the stars are aligned correctly, the moon is full and the Gods are playing chess on Mount Olympus. Or you could just cast the always charming Jason Bateman and Ryan Reynolds as your protagonists.
By Change Up Guest Contributor Christa Ktorides of This Is
Ah the old body-swap
device. We’ve seen it many times
before and one must assume we’ll see it again. A tired cliché for sure but one that can still raise a
chuckle if the stars are aligned correctly, the moon is full and the Gods are
playing chess on Mount Olympus. Or
you could just cast the always charming Jason Bateman and Ryan Reynolds as your
Dave (Bateman), a workaholic lawyer, loving father and
husband, is bored silly with his life.
Childhood best friend and out of work actor Mitch (Reynolds) is
something of an obnoxious, foul mouthed, sexist waster with Daddy issues. After a drunken night out culminates in
them weeing in a magic fountain and wishing that they had each other’s lives,
they wake up to find their “wish” has come true. Bet you didn’t see that one coming.
What you may not see coming are the boobs. Lots and lots of CGI boobs. Leslie
Mann, as David’s unhappy, screechy wife Jamie, displays her odd prosthetic
boobs in the film. Quite what
possessed her to do so remains a mystery. An actress of her stature hardly needs to strip
unnecessarily on camera and the fact that her body is created by a special
effects artist isn’t a particularly good excuse either as most of the audience
won’t question her nudity. It’s
one thing to be a prude and altogether another thing to see a bizarre pandering
to an imagined need for bouncing boobs every 15 minutes when the plot hardly
calls for it. Also it is worth
noting that Reynolds’ much-celebrated man-boobs barely get a look in. So much for equality.
Add some tacked-on plot devices involving Bateman having a
blazing crush on his colleague, Olivia
Wilde (so stunning she’s actually blinding to look at), Reynolds’ strained
relationship with his distant Father (a wasted Alan Arkin) and the truly ridiculous conceit that Mitch, in David’s
body, can negotiate a huge company merger thus becoming a better human being
and we’re in eye rolling territory.
It’s a good thing that Bateman and Reynolds have enough natural charm to
remain likeable and there are a few truly rib-tickling set-pieces to stop the
film from flailing too long in quicksand.
Director David Dobkin
(The Wedding Crashers) is no stranger to raunchy laughs and does a good enough
job of keeping things entertaining despite the predictability of the outcome
where we know that everyone will have learned a lesson and there’s no place
A bawdy, bad taste comedy redeemed by the likeable
leads and some impeccable comic timing.