Sunday, August 21, 2011

The Change Up

The Film: The Change Up

The Peeps: Ryan Reynolds, Jason Bateman, Olivia Wilde, Leslie Mann, Alan Arkin, etc.

The Dealio: One night, after a particularly frustrating day, buds Mitch (Reynolds) and Dave (Bateman), express a keen desire to switch lives while peeing in a fountain. Well, of course, as these things always go, this was no everyday, ordinary fountain, but one with a sharp sense of humor. Sure enough, each awakens to find he has swapped places, but not bods, with the other. For dedicated, but harried dad-of-three-married-to-the-hot-wife Dave, this is like summer vacation. For about three minutes. Then, the reality of being a type A professional stuck in a slacker, irresponsible dude's body, hits him like a 30 pound halibut to the melon. For playboy, occasional lorn-actor Mitch, it is a trip to Hell without any possibility of detour or parole. Any one who doesn't know how this is going to play out, raise your hand now. You're excused. Go check out 13 Going On 30, Double Trouble, The Parent Trap, Freaky Friday or any similar cinematic dissertation on the ramifications of swapping places with someone you think has it all figured out. SPOILER ALERT: turns out, they do not.

The Grading Session: 3.901 pengies out of 5. As I said in the tripline: do not go see this movie with someone like me. The scenes with Dave/Mitch interacting with his twins were excruciating for someone like me! Listen, I know it is totally unfair to bring my professional life to the movies with me, but I can not help myself. Full marks to Prendie for not gagging me after the first two outbursts: 'OMG! No powder for the babies! What is he thinking!? ' And, 'Dear God! Tell me he is not heating up the bottles in a pan or microwave! I can't look!' I had to actually step into the lobby to stop my hyperventilation when the babies started playing with knives. No. Seriously, it was an acceptable movie of its kind, and seemed like the cinematic version of summer comfort food (mashed potatoes with lite margarine, versus butter): easy to digest, very familiar and not liable to change your life-outlook,. Or your cholesterol count.

Lessons Learned: Two very appealing leads can only carry a flick so far. A fresh-eyed script should definitely come first. Also, be prepared. Start right this minute. Against the possibility of such a thing ever actually happening in your life, rehearse phrases, words and questions that would cue in your significant others that there has been a total body transplant. Prendie and I are already prepped for such an eventuality. You should be , too.

Notable Quotable: Well, this one always makes Prendie laugh out loud, so I'll spring for this one: 'Oh, no you don't! Don't go backing that thing up into me. I can't believe you'd come at me guns hot.'

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