The Change-Up

COMEDY; 1hr 52min

STARRING: Jason Bateman, Ryan Reynolds

Identity crisis: from left, Bateman and Reynolds 

David (Bateman) and Mitch (Reynolds) are friends from childhood who couldn’t be more different and who each fancy what the other has. David, a successful, workaholic married lawyer with the usual stressy family issues, envies slacker, small-time actor Mitch his perennial, womanising adolescence, while Mitch wouldn’t would mind a piece of David’s cosy, cashed-up domestic action. Best of luck with that, boys! When the chalk–cheese twosome swap identities courtesy of a magic fountain (stay with me), attempting to live each other’s life is a high-wire act from out-of-body hell.


Physical swaps are no movie novelty; Dating the Enemy and Freaky Friday leap to mind, plus there’s a laundry list of them on Wikipedia. This one breaks no moulds but Reynolds and Bateman are great, naughty-boy value, working quick smart from a quip-firing screenplay and bouncing off each other, and every other unfortunate they encounter, with caffeinated zing. The concept is a marriage of crass and cuckoo but its bottom line — of making the most of what you have — proves to be perversely sane.