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Film / The Change Up

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The Change-Up is a 2011 comedy directed by David Dobkin (Wedding Crashers, The Judge) and starring Jason Bateman and Ryan Reynolds.

Dave Lockwood (Bateman) is a lawyer with a boring daily routine and an almost crumbling marriage. His best pal Mitch Planko (Reynolds) is an actor wannabe, single and living a hedonistic life of marijuana smoking and meeting women. After one night of drunkenness, Mitch and Dave pee in front of the statue of a fountain and they wish of switching their lives. The next day, their wish comes true with Dave inside Mitch's body and Mitch's inside Dave's body. They return to the fountain, only to find out that it got placed in another location. While they wait for the response of the bureaucratic parks department, they decide to live the other's life and routine - not without meeting difficulties while trying to adapt, of course. Hilarity Ensues.

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It also stars Leslie Mann as Dave's wife Jamie, Olivia Wilde as Dave's beautiful co-worker Sabrina and Alan Arkin as Mitch's father.


This film provides examples of:

  • Be Careful What You Wish For: The film is Big meets Freaky Friday. Mitch and Dave pee in front of a fountain statue and they wish to have their lives switched. The next day the wish becomes reality.
  • The Bully: One of Cara's classmates keeps tripping her in the dancing lessons. After Mitch-Dave gives her the advice of using the violence, she throws her in one of her performances and the girl does not bully Cara ever again.
  • Cassandra Truth: Mitch and Dave try to explain the body switch situation to Jamie by asking something that only her would know. Dave-Mitch tells her the embarrassing incident with one of her dildos that gave her a hairless mark on her crotch, only to get an infuriated response from Jamie.
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  • Chekhov's Gun: The butterfly from Cara's animal book. Once Dave-Mitch sees that Sabrina has the tattoo of that said butterfly, he immediately starts to miss his family and decides to regain his body.
  • Disproportionate Retribution: Mitch-Dave's advice to his daughter Cara is that the response against a bully is violence. When Jamie hears that advice after Cara threw the bully girl on stage, she gets shocked at first but then responds that violence is OK sometimes.
  • Fan Disservice: Played for Laughs. Jamie gets naked and walks in slow motion in front of the body switched Mitch much to his amusement. Then she goes to the toilet as the food she ate wasn't much for her intestines this time much to Mitch's disgust.
  • "Freaky Friday" Flip: The film could be summed up as Freaky Friday (1976) meets Big: two men wish to switch their lives and bodies in front of an apparent supernatural inanimate object, in this case a fountain statue.
  • Ms. Fanservice: Sabrina as played by Olivia Wilde. Even better with the red dress she wears in her date with Dave-Mitch.
  • Shoe Size Angst: After her husband starts acting off, Jamie has a breakdown during which she cries about her feet being huge (size 11) and having to order shoes online.
  • Vulgar Humor: From the very first scene, a sleepy Dave tries to change his twin babies' diapers only to be met with disastrous results including his baby son pooping on his face. Also, the "lorno" scene where Dave-Mitch has to finger the actress' anus and Jamie's Fan Disservice scene.
  • Your Cheating Heart:
    • Dave has fantasies with his attractive co-worker Sabrina. After the body switching, Mitch encourages Dave to have a date. They do and in their second night, they almost have sex but Dave starts to miss his family and leaves her.
    • Subverted and Played for Laughs in the next scene where Dave inside Mitch's body goes to his ascension party and gives a Big Damn Kiss to his wife Jamie much to the guests' shock.

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