Sometimes, Change is Good
By Todd A. Smith
Everyone has a friend that is the exact opposite of them. One may be the player who has women chasing after him daily. On the contrary, the other may be the family man with a stable but unexciting lifestyle.
Despite one’s personality, all have secretly yearned for the lifestyle of their polar opposite and in The Change-Up movie, Ryan Reynolds and Jason Bateman’s wishes become a reality.
Dave Lockwood (Bateman) has what most men eventually want, a successful career, which happens to be at a law firm, a beautiful wife (Leslie Mann) and three energetic children. What he struggles with are the responsibilities of balancing both his professional and personal lives successfully.
Mitch Planko (Reynolds) has absolutely no responsibilities whatsoever. Much to his father’s dismay, he dropped out of high school to pursue the art of acting and the art of blazing joints of marijuana.
Despite his “dedication” to the arts, he has only managed to land roles in low budget commercials and “lornos,” which are light pornographic films.
However, he is only truly dedicated to the ladies, even going to Lamaze classes just to get the opportunity to sleep with a sexually promiscuous young lady who happens to be nine months pregnant.
While relieving themselves at a downtown Atlanta fountain, Mitch and Dave secretly wishes for each other’s lives and like the old cliché goes,” be careful what you wish for, because you just may get it.”
The two wake up the next morning in the other’s home and they quickly realize that they have taken on the appearance of the other and must maintain this charade because no one close to them would ever believe that something this absurd could ever take place.
The Change-Up movie could have easily been an absurd movie that garnered a couple of chuckles, but audiences will be very surprised that The Change-Up movie is actually good and extremely hilarious.
Just think about it. Would you want your womanizing, unemployed, weed smoking friend to masquerade as a lawyer, a husband to your wife and a father to your impressionable children? The answer is probably no.
Furthermore, if you were successful with the ladies, would you want your uptight, conservative friend who has not been on a date in a decade, pretending to be you in a porno? Most people would answer no to this question as well.
Nevertheless, that is exactly what you get for two funny hours with The Change-Up movie.
In The Change-Up movie, you get a weed-head telling a little girl that violence is good and she should attack her bully, although her real father teaches her to search for a “verbal resolution.”
In addition, you get a conservative father who is apprehensive about sticking his finger up the backside of a woman that is not his wife.
By being someone else for an extended period of time, the two friends finally realize the constructive criticism that has been directed towards them from loved ones is actually sincere, and they have to make significant changes before they lose it all.
Mitch realizes that though people like his personality, they consider him a quitter who never sees things to fruition.
Dave came from a background of financial struggles to become a partner at a very prestigious law firm. And while his wife fell in love with his ambition, she does not think that the job should come before their marriage.
The Change-Up movie in essence, changes up their lives for the better, making them better men in the process and men comfortable in their own skin.
Smith is publisher of Regal Black Men’s Magazine, a publication dedicated to the African American community.
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