Directed by David Dobkin
In The Change-Up, a troubling revival of the body-swap comedy, family-man lawyer Dave (Jason Bateman) switches places with layabout buddy Mitch (Ryan Reynolds) after they indulge in some magical public urination; when Mitch-as-Dave later interrupts Dave-as-Mitch as he pleasures himself in the peace and quiet of Mitch's studio apartment, Mitch-as-Dave recoils: "Isn't that my dick, though?" he asks, alarmed, before telling his body's tenant the best way to "torque" it. Rather than be repulsed by this idea, as you might expect the main characters in an enervatingly crass comedy from the director of The Wedding Crashers to be, they become enthralled with it: Later, Mitch-as-Dave preps Dave-as-Mitch for a date (the not-my-dick quandary also serves as a temporary justification for the stand-up guy's impulse toward infidelity with Olivia Wilde's legal assistant), getting down on his knees to shave the latter's pubic hair; when Mitch-as-Dave does the same for himself, he gleefully observes the "freckles on my taint." From inside Dave's body, the curious Mitch fondles what Dave's wife (Leslie Mann) describes as his "ball that feels like two balls."
While Mitch improbably makes partner for Dave, and Dave indulges in Mitch's freedom by reading Freedom at a sidewalk café, the two come to appreciate the advantages of existing on a two-dick plane. Their self-explorations offer a sort of refuge from the world around them, which is presented as a parade of corporeal horrors. In the movie's opening scene, one of Dave's newborn twins projectile-shits right into his mouth; the punchline of a later gross-out gag is that Mann might sit on the throne to perform the same bodily function. Other objects of ridicule include a pregnant woman and a plastic-surgery grotesque, both of whom disrobe before the camera. What emerges is something like an extreme form of miscegenation panic: Make sure to avoid those who aren't like you (in addition to babies and libidinous women, the movie offers various ethnic caricatures), and to cross swords with someone who is.
Opens August 5