Hello, Spongey here.
Last time I reviewed Green Lantern, a film starring Ryan Renolds that was meant to be a great starring vehicle for him. Sadly, it did not do well and it pissed off comic fans and critics alike.
But Ryan had one last hope. He had another vehicle coming out a few months later that got some hype from those who loved R rated comedies like myself. Sadly, it too didn’t do as well as people hoped. It has a 20 something on rotten tomatoes, and it’s been largely forgotten.
I was interested in it for it’s premise: Freaky Friday, as an R rated comedy. But once the reviews came in, I passed on it. Then I heard some mixed reactions on other place, and when it popped up on HBO, I checked it out.
It was…a mixed bag. So much so that I put as a review for this Ryan Renolds double feature. It’s a shame, cuz I liked both the idea and Ryan Renolds. Thankfully, no one remembers it so even if I liked it, it wouldn’t matter.
On the directing front, we have the guy who did Wedding crashers, which I haven’t But for the writers, we have the writers of the hangover. Cool, but they also wrote…Rebound.
Yes, the writers of Rebound did The Hangover. Wrap your head around that one. Well, with the writers of an fine masterpiece of awesome…and the hangover, this can’t be TOO bad, right?
So let’s take a look and see how much “Freaky Friday as an R Rated comedy” can take you,.
This, is The Change-Up
The movie wastes no time in abusing it’s R rating, as the 2nd thing to come out someone’s mouth is “Fuck”. We see Jason batemen being woken up by his baby and his wife makes him go change him.
So he does so which leads to some obvious jokes with the baby flailing around and all that jazz. And it’s at the 2:52 mark where we get our first shit joke, as the baby shits in his face. Yeah, get ready for really predictable jokes.
Some of it even lands in his mouth. Cuz as well know, gross is automatically hilarious. After we see he has a baby daughter as well and they can’t get to sleep, which means he can’t either. Hey, it’s his fault for not keeping it in his pants.
Dave heads to work the next day and his boy reminds him of some partner review thing. He’s a lawyer by the way. Also, in nay workplace comedy we need a best friend but not quite love interest who is an assistant or something, so here we have Sabrina, played by Olivia Wilde.
He sort of lusts after her too which is important for later. Yeah, are hitting every obvious bit in the book here. Does it get better? Yes and no.
Dave gets a call from his friend Mitch, played by Ryan Renolds. He’s a slacker who has sex with woman a lot. This is a typical dynamic, and that is an issue….but Jason and Ryan do really good jobs in this. They make some below average lines work at times.
These guys alone make the movie 10 times better, but we’ll get to that later. Then we get this out of context line:
‘If you bail on me, I will literally eye rape you”
Dave hangs up and we cut fully to Mitch’s place as his dad, played by Alan Arikn show up. He seems kind of cool with him, but then…
“I’m getting married and I want you to come to the wedding”.
Should I do a cliché count here? …Nah.
Mitch declines his invitation but Dad is like “okay” and he leaves. The way it’s done makes it a little less rushed than I say. But I hope we found WHY Mitch doesn’t wanna go other than the cliché reason.
Back at Dave’s place, he is hanging with his kids and his wife Jamie, played by Leslise Mann. We find out that some doctor or whatever had suggested Dave and Jamie sit down and talk once a week, which Dave hasn’t exactly tried to do.
She wants to do it that night, but Dave promised Mitch he’d meet up with him. She agrees to move it to a different night. Boring Crisis averted!
Speaking of Mitch, he shows up. He gets along with Dave’s other slightly older daughter, who is into ballet and stuff.
“The only still of dancing Uncle Mitch likes involves a shiny pole”
…Let’s linger on that too much.
So of course Mitch walks around and says “kind of douche-y” best friend things.
“Look at these little fuckers!”
“Why can’t they talk, are they retarded or something?”
Needless to say, Mitch is a guy who walks the line between annoying and likable. He goes into the former quite a bit though he has his points where he is more likable. Renold’s performance helps this too.
So Dave and Mitch head out to a bar. Mitch reveals he has a girlfriend named Tatiana, who we shall meet later. They talk about stuff, including Mitch’s sexual escapades. But as it turns out, Dave is jealous of Mitch’s very active lifestyle.
However, Mitch says Dave has it made with his wife, good kids, and great job.
“You’re surrounded by people who give a shit about you!”
So they want each others live. Yep, this is very cliché. Admittedly, Mitch’s bit here is a tad interesting (I hope a soft spot for these type of characters) and they certainty build on that. But, the first 20 or so minutes here are just filled with every cliiche this premise comes with.
Guess they bought the “body switching movie” gold package. The silver comes with Lindsay lohan.
They’re musings are interrupted by their need to take a piss in a nearby fountain. They start pissing and they both say-
“I wish I had your life!”
And our cliché is complete. Also ,when they say the city blacks out for a bit….but even their pissing stops while this happen. Now that is pretty funny.
So they shrug it off and we cut to the next day. I’m just gonna cut to the chase and say Mitch wakes up in Dave’s body. But more interestingly, he wakes up to Jamie breast feeding one of the kids. Which means…yep, nude bewbs.
But the thing is, the actress did want to go nude for real (same goes for the other nude shots. Yes, there are more) so she used a body double for some parts, and prosthetic for others. The former is fine, but the latter happens here and it’s…pretty obvious.
When it’s a body double, fine.. It’s still actual nudity but when it’s fake it’s so bad they might as well have had no nudity at all. This is an odd thing to nitpick, but there you go.
ANYWAY, Mitch is of course confused about why he woke up with Jamie next to him. Thankfully, he catches on right away and heads to …well the home of Dave in Mitch’s body. Dave is woken up by this and they now see that they are stuck in each others bodies.
I praised their performances before, but now it’s time to say this: They are great as themselves. These guys play their opposite so damn well that when one is in the others body, I SEE the other person, not the person the body looks like.
And for a movie like this, that is impressive. Here they show off some very good chemistry , and immense charm. The comedy gets a tad better from this point, but their acting makes it so much better. This movie almost becomes worth it to see these guys do each other…Not like that.
They quickly realize that the fountain did this and head there. But when they get there, they find some construction guys that tell them the fountain Is being restored and was moved somewhere else.
Are you seriously telling me they got the order and then moved that thing in the like like 8 hours they were asleep?
Well anyway, the guys are told to go to the distract manager., But the fountain’s location is not in the computer and the lady says they have to wait for Victor to come tomorrow.
“He’s the one who knows how to find shit in the computer”
That certainly isn’t a forced plot point. So yeah, they are stuck this way and Dave has some meeting thingy. Yep, it’s that cliché. Mitch says he’ll just do it for him since he’s in his body. Thankfully, it’s not a very talky meeting, so Dave tells Mitch to be silent and just hand the boss some documents when he asks for them.
I predict Mitch will fuck up in a way that the boss finds amusing. Just throwing it out there.
Also, Mitch scored a role in a movie and it’s his first day of filming, so Dave has to deal with that. I won’t spoil the punch line for this one yet.
So Mitch as Dave heads to work and he bumps into Sabrina. And yes, Mitch agrees with Dave’s assessment of her looks. Spoilers, Mitch and her hook up. As cliché as this all is, it’s more bearable than Rebound…
Wow, these writers must love cliches.
Mitch heads to the meeting place and after the “people shut when person walks in even though he’s not doing anything” cliché, Mitch sits down. By the way, this company is meeting with some Japanese dudes. Another side of this cliché.
Of course Mitch talks and it ends up being awkward when this one Japanese dude asks what something Mitch doesn’t know about. Guess what? It goes sour and everyone leaves. To be fair, Batmen’s performance makes this bearable and it’s not even that painful compared to other comedies i’ve reviewed on here.
The boss is a bit peeved, but Mitch assures him it’s part of his master plan. The boss buys it but he says he’s on a short leash now. …Cool, but let’s join Dave as he heads to a seedy looking place for the movie.
He meets with this one dude and…
“It’s a lorno. Light Porno.”
..Oh my. Now, one of my complaints so far has been that the movie plays it kind of safe with the plot. But seems like the one coming up are the movie strong parts, cuz it goes as wild and crazy as it I expected from the genre.
Wait, Dave couldn’t tell from the script? Porn script’s aren’t known for being very subtle.
Anyway, Dave meets with the funny foreigner director, and by the way the number on that door right there is 69. Hardy har har. Anyway, he tells dave what to do, and it’s pretty basic porn stuff.
Wait, is this movie saying Ryan Renolds looks like a porn star?
So the scene starts and his cue card gives us this great out of context line:
“I will fuck you dead”
And so the actress brings out her tits, and in this case it looks like obvious prosthetic. I’d see why we would need nudity for this scene, but come on. Though I’ll say stuff like this makes me glad I’m not a video reviewer, as black boxing stuff would be a bitch.
“Stick your thumb up her butt”
I’m pretty sure that’s not light, but okay.
Of course this is all awkward for Dave, but the director tells him to do or maybe he’ll have an accident on set. This whole threat is actually pretty funny.
What is less funny though is this other dude coming up, revealing that this is part gay porn and “Dmitri” has to kiss “Mitch” while he’s fucking his “wife”. Obvious gay joke aside, why would Mitch sign up for something like this?!
He had the script, so he should have known before hand. Is he just a closet bisexual? Also, this is still anything but light.
Thankfully, we cut to “Dave” before this gets awkward. See, Dave had to pick up the daughter at her ballet recital and Mitch shows up near the end to see some bitch trip “his” daughter and get her in trouble.
In the car, Mitch asks her about that bitch, and her name is Nicola. It’s kind of sweet to see Mitch get pissed at something like this. The daughter says Dave told her not to fight back, but of course Mitch disagrees.
“What you do is you FUCK verbal resolution”
Clearly Mitch is a natural born parent. Anyway, the two meet up later at the bar to talk about what happened. Mitch says how the deal went and Dave is…well not happy. His reaction is pretty amusing, for what it’s worth.
But they move on to the porn part.
“It was a lorn, the dick stays in the pants”
So light =kinky shit like thumb but no dick comes out? Porn is weird.
Anyway, they head to Dave’s house and Dave plans to tell Jamie what is going on. If my husband told me he had a freaky friday switch, I’d call him crazy. Just saying.
Yet they tell her anyway, and shocker, she doesn’t buy it. Dave tries the “give me a question thing” but as it turns out, Mitch knows a bit more about Jamie then Dave cuz…the script says so.
But Dave does tell her a weird story only Dave would know….but she smacks Mitch in dave’s body, thinking Dave told Mitch the story. Didn’t think that one through, did you?
After that, they go outside, and Mitch talks about how Jamie is gonna wanna have sex tonight. Yeah, she’s do you after what you supposedly did. …Wait, that makes sense.
Dave cools down once he realizes it’s Tuesday. Hey, it is…when this post comes up. It’s Monday as I write this part. So Dave leaves and Mitch heads inside for Dinner. Kara, the daughter, is sad cuz this poem she wrote in class was not picked as the best or something, and instead it was that bitch from earlier.
Mitch suggests maybe the other chick’s was better, but Jamie sets him straight.
“Your poem, which I did not read, was way better than the other bitches’ poem,. Which I also did not read”
So he’s saying something in awesome without seeing it…sounds like a fanboy just before Man of Steel came out.
(Aren’t I so topical?)
A bit after that awkwardness,we cut to Dave as Mitch, as he gets a call from Tatiana. Told you she’d come back. He then calls Mitch to him about that, and Mitch tells him to fuck her cuz it took him awhile to reel this one in.
Dave thinks it’s odd but Mitch tells him it’s really not cheating, and Dave decides to go for it. This is is gonna be really awkward when they switch back.
“Hey, remember the time you fucked someone with my dick?”
And speak of the devil, she shows up. She gets naked right away (I think it’s prosthetic this time as well) but….she’s pregnant.
…Ew. This is another one of those rare wild and crazy moments I talked about it…and it’s not as amusing as the porn bit, and it’s kind of dumb but eh…the reactions are good. It’s also amusing how deadet she is on fucking him despite her ….thing.
Still safer then doing spy work while preggo. Take that, Spy Kids 4!
Though I think it’s sick that Mitch wanted to fuck a pregnant lady so badly. And that he thought Dave would be okay with it. Of course Tatianais pissed he won’t do her cuz of this. So much so that she leaves.
…Well that was weird. Let’s uh…get back to Mitch as Dave, okay? He thinks it’s sexyt ime with Jamie. And she does come sexily and naked (I think it’s a body double this time). …But she’s really going to the toilet cuz she has the shits.
Lame shit joke aside, why did she walk in so sexily with no hint of discomfort? Well anyway, Mitch is no longer in the mood so they just go to bed. But in the middle of the night, the babies cry and Jamie tells him to take care of it.
“I don’t feel like it”.
And Mitch receives her wrath thanks to that line, and he is forced to take care of them. Then um…we cut to Dave as Mitch jacking off to porn on his phone until a call from Mitch disturbs him. His reaction to this is fairly amusing.
“Isn’t that kind of my dick?”
You were willing to let him fuck someone with it, dumbass. Anyway, Mitch bitches (hah) about the wife and kids, and Dave tells him what happened with Tatiana. He’s not happy, but let’s move on to Dave telling him how to deal with the twins.
This goes smoothly in spite of weird hijinks, including one baby throwing a knife he sees…..Whwat.
Uh…let’s move on to the next day. The guys really need to get back to normal, so they head to that Victor guy they heard about earlier. But of course they need to do paperwork to get approved in order to find out where the fountain went and all that.
In other words, it’s another plot contrivance.. After finding this out, Dave as Mitch heads to Dave’s house to tell him only to find he’s in the shower. So he talks to Jamie who is worried about how Dave is acting.
Then she starts tearing up when she mentions that “dave” said he isn’t attracted to her, and asks if he is having an affair. Okay, the actress really sells this scene. It’s actually kind of sweet thanks to her performance.
She goes on to mention that Dave didn’t have the best family life, and he always wanted a better life. She also talks how his drive and all that, but now that he has it all, he still wants more.
“More kids, a nicer car. Anything he thinks is gonna make him happy. So he just keeps working and he’s not paying any attention to me”
I’ve seen a lot of weak comedies on this blog that try to be “Sweet” and either fail (Any bad Sandler movie) or just miss the mark (A Thousand words). But never have I come across a mostly routine film like this….that actually pulls this kind of thing off.
It doesn’t 100 percent save the movie…and yes, this is pretty cliché. But to an extent, it sort of works. Mostly for the actress’s performance and how she really gives her all. For a movie that just had ab bay throwing a knife, that is impressive.
This is pretty hard for Dave to hear….and then Mitch as Dave comes in to ruin the moment. Lovely. So….Dave is pissed that Mitch does a piss poor job at being Dave. How pissed?
“Jamie and the kids mean everything to me. There’s no walking out on this for once in your life. You got to see something through”.
For a very cliché plot line, there bits of character growth aren’t too shabby.
So now Dave has to teach Mitch how to be a proper grown up person. This leads to a montage which leads to this line:
“I can’t sleep with my wife, can’t sleep with other woman, what the hell is that?”
So we cut to them at work, as Sabrina tells “Dave” that the Japanese dudes want another meeting in two days. Then Mitch randomly suggests Sabrina and Mitch’s body should go out. She uh…i wouldn’t say agree, since Mitch talks so fast and she leaves as if she agreed. It’s hard to describe.
But let’s assume it’s a date. Mitch had this happen, cuz this is Dave’s only chance to nail here and if all works well, Mitch has himself a decent girlfriend once he’s back in his body.
So there’s that, but after Dave leaves, Mitch as Dave gets a call from…his Dad. Dad wants to meet Dave (insert joke about the movie with that title here) cuz he knows he’s Mitch’s friend.
So the next scene has them meeting up for lunch. He tells Dave about the marriage thing, and Mitch is the only family he has that can show up. He’s asking Dave to ask Mitch to show up.
Then Dad reveals his feelings about Mitch: He’s a quitter and he really wants Mitch to be part of his life. Mitch as Dave tells him that Mitch is gonna prove him wrong. I’ll go into this in the final thoughts, but it astounds how close this movie is to being good with scenes like this.
So we get a montage of Mitch trying to live Dave’s life without quitting, and it works how surprisingly well. It ends with Mitch and Jamie at the daughter’s big ballet show thing. And as a cap to a subplot, she trips up that bitch from earlier.
‘That’s my daughter, bitches”
Eh, we didn’t need that part, especially since Dave’s rational thought about conflict was proven wrong for no reason.
“So what did we learn?”
“Always solve my problems with violence!”
Great life lessons from The Change-up.
So that night, Jamie wants to fuck. Actually, no. She wants to make love, which Mitch is not familiar with. Mitch can’t seem to get it up to screw her,. But she does comfort him in a way that seems to make up for it. This review is getting kind of boring with scenes I don’t have much insight on.
The next day, Dave finally starts to live it up in Mitch’s body, and live life like a normal person. At least Dave is getting some growth, as Mitch has been stealing the spotlight in these last 20 minutes.
So anyway, the day of “Mitch’s” date with Sabrina comes. So Mitch informs of him about proper normal dating etiquette. This movie is about 112 minutes long. Stuff like this could have been cut out to make this review 10000 times easier to do.
So Dave meets up with Sabrina at a restaurant and she says she’s just here cuz “dave” told her to be here. She could have tried to say no, since she knows Dave to be cool but okay.
They chat it up and Dave asks her what it’s like working with…Dave. She reveals she used to have a crush on him, but then the subject moves to Mitch. Then it moves to a “happy restaurant date” montage.
They have fun and after they are done, Sabrina suggests doing something they will really regret in the morning. Lady, poor Renolds did that twice in one summer, cut him some slack.
That thing is, getting tattoos in odd places. Mitch on his butt, and Sabrina near her…hooha. It goes on a tad too long, but we thankfully move on to them heading to Sabrina’s place. It’s all happy and Sabrina says she hopes he calls her, and whatever.
The next morning, Jamie tells “Dave” about their anniversary party, and it turns out Dave didn’t want Mitch there. It dawns on Mitch that Dave thinks he’s a bit reckless. I think Mitch had enough “asshole realization” moments without this being here.
Dave as Mitch gets a call from that lady and it looks like they found that fountain. I questioned why it was moved on the first place, but whatever. Dave goes to work to tell Mitch, and It turns out Mitch got a call about the fountain too.
But there’s one problem: Mitch has been working hard on that work meeting…thing to prove to people he can see something through. Dave sees his point and they both decide that it can wait. Well, that and Sabrina asked “Mitch” out to a baseball game and Dave is liking Mitch’s life now..
Yep, we’re at the point where they like their new lives too much to want to switch. But they quickly move to another cliché point as that night, Mitch/Dave (my official name for Mitch as Dave) stays at work…and forgets that once a week talk thing I mentioned earlier. Yay.
We cut to Jamie at home as she does the “pour heart out angrily to someone” cliché, with that someone being the babysitter. You know, this movie has enough okay drama without stuff like this. Like I said, that 112 minute runtime could have been trimmed down.
Plus, if it had, this review wouldn’t be a day late!
So let’s move on that work meeting…thing. Things seem to go sour at first, but Mitch tries to salvage it in his own Mitch-y way. Long story short, it all works out thanks to Mitch. So that’s nice, and they even have some big thingy at a place to celebrate “Dave” making partner.
At the same time, that baseball game gets rained out, and Dave and Sabrina head back to Mitch’s place. Yep, theys gonna fuck. As this happen, the dude at the thing at the place gives a speech about Dave’s life, which makes Mitch realize how awesome Dave is.
But it just jumps back to the sex, as it takes it’s sweet time getting Sabrina nude. This time just cover them up and any close up shots are a body double. Why am I even thinking about this.
Back at the thingy at the place, the dude gets to the part where Dave loves his wife even more than work.
“The law is the first thing on Dave’s mind….but his family has ALWAYS been the first thing in his heart”
Cheese-y as it is, it gets to Mitch. But mood whiplash alert, as we get back to the sex….but Dave/Mitch wants to home now. And he rushes out and he we don’t see Sabrina’s reaction to this. Oh, now they want to get this movie over with!
Dave/Mitch runs to that place…and kisses Jamie. Awkward. But it’s this magical moment that gets her to realize that they were telling the truth earlier. But now it’s time to switch back as they head to the fountain place during DRAMATIC RAIN.
Except it’s in a mall, in a crowded area. Great, more wacky stuff to pad the run time. Guess they can just wait til later so they can-OR THEY CAN DO IT NOW. That works too.
They start peeing and look some kid seems them. Didn’t see that one coming. Everyone stops in their tracks and laughs, but no one calls a mall cop or anything. No, instead the boys stop to discuss the “no mitch at anniversary part” thing. For god’s sake, will this movie end already?!
“Can we talk about that another time”
Dave apologizes and says Mitch no longer embarrasses him after all this. …Well that was quick. So they let loose and of course NOW a cop show up. But they make the wish and again, all the power goes off.
Which makes it easy to escape. And they so go home and boom, they wake up back in their old bodies. Thank god, we can wrap this up now. Of course we get that moment where Dave happily hugs Jamie and apologizes when she has no idea what is going on.
Either way, she accepts his apology says she just wants him around a bit more and all that jazz. Then the twins cry out, and Dave happily takes care of them. He overall seems a bit happier about his current life and yada yada yada.
Mitch also wakes up, happy to have his body back. And then Sabrina shows up, cuz she left her purse and phone here. She apologizes for coming off so fast. Mitch is cool about it and offers to grab some breakfast.
Oh, and he also shows up to his dad’s wedding. Almost forgot about that part. It’s all sweet and Dad gives him a thumbs up. Nice, and I assume after all this is over, Dad will go off to make a fake movie or something.
But cuz this movie doesn’t want to end, we cut to one month later. We see Dave and Jamie’s anniversary party, cuz I wanted to see THAT get wrapped up. Mitch speaks here and gives some speech about life or whatever.
I make fun, but this is kind of sweet. This is fairly satisfying considering what I’ve seen in the past 110 minutes.
So, Dave and Mitch have gained new perspectives on not only the others life, but their own as well. They hang out, and a pop song plays us out. But wait, the credits are spliced in with little scenes with the characters doing stuff.
But it’s all worth to see Dave and Jamie watch Mitch’s porn! Well, not really but it is kind of amusing. Oh hey, the credits say that porn set PA was played by Fred Stoller…who was the referee in Rebound.
Joy. Anyway, the credits scene ends and so does the movie, after 114 freaking minutes. This review took forever, and that running time did not help. The end!
This movie is…just okay, I guess. But in the moment, while I was watching it, I didn’t even think of it as having bad moments. The biggest problem is that it can be routine….and forgettable.
The plot hits every beat you’d expect, and offers few real surprises. This also hurts a few of the jokes, especially in the fist quarter. It improves on that front, but I’ll get to that in a second. It’s not really trying to hard to stick in your head and it shows.
As much praise as i’ll give it in a second, it didn’t leave a long lasting impact on me. Between viewing one and two, my memory of this movie was empty. Now that I’ve seen it again….it will go back to empty until I read this review again. It’s a movie that tries to be memorable in the moment….but not after that moments.
However, it’s not that bad. Infact, it’s so close to being decent. The actors do a good job at being each other, and they have good comedic reactions. The comedy is rarely flat out painful even if little of it is hugely memorable.
As routine as the drama it is, is kind of works. Like Ted, this is a better drama than a comedy. But unlike Ted, it’s not good ENOUGH to really recommend it. It can get kind of sweet at times with the development they get, as cliché as it is.
But like I said, I kind of enjoyed that deep stuff in the moment but even as few minutes after watching it…it doesn’t stick out as hugely good. But that’s just my point. It’s not as painful as it could have been….but also not as memorable.
It’s…okay. Perhaps more tolerable than the other “Average’ movies i’ve reviewed but still. This was a half hearted review, but so is my feelings to the movie. It’s…alright. There’s a reason no one remembered. It’s not worth remembering.
To be honest, I just wanted to review this to clarify my feelings…and do a Ryan Renolds double feature.
So that’s another review down. Next time…i tackle something I’ve been building up to for months. The whole reason I’ve been sitting through some painful movies. All because of one request….but that’s for next time.
A FEW MONTHS EARLIER
I’m kind of awake tonight. I’ll just randomly get up and type on some random docu-hey wait, I hear something. Hey, someone’s in here. Who are you?! And why are you typing on here?!
I’m Agent Goldfish.
Oh, the title card guy. What the hell are you here for?
I’m here to talk to you about the….Buddies Initiative
TO BE CONCLUDED