2011 Running time: 112 Certificate: 15 Rating: 3

Synopsis

Out-of-work actor Mitch (Ryan Reynolds) and driven lawyer Dave (Jason Bateman) find themselves living each other's lives when they aren't careful what they wish for. The result is Mitch screwing up a multi-million merger and Dave underperforming when he turns up on the set of a softcore porn shoot. Director David Dobkin (Wedding Crashers) crafts a filthy-minded comedy that never descends to pure smut thanks to skilful performances from the two leads. Peerless comedienne Leslie Mann also makes the most of the role of Dave's wife, providing a sober foil when things threaten to get too laddish.

Director

  • David Dobkin

Cast

  • Jason Bateman

  • Ryan Reynolds

  • Leslie Mann

  • Olivia Wilde

  • Alan Arkin

Review

From the waspish wit of Freaky Friday to the warm-hearted cosiness of Big, the body-swap comedy has always traded on tact and tenderness. Until this.

Directed by David 'Wedding Crashers' Dobkin and scripted by The Hangover's Jon Lucas and Scott Moore, it's filthier than a geriatric hooker taking a mudbath in soot. The only surprise is that it doesn't actually feature one.

Ryan Reynolds and Jason Bateman play wannabe actor Mitch and corporate lawyer Dave, childhood buddies who are slowly coming to the realisation that their lives aren't quite what they want.

Mitch envies the cosily settled family life of Dave and his hottie wife Jamie (Mann) while Dave is jealous of Mitch's no-strings-attached, bohemian, reefer-fuelled existence punctuated by nocturnal visits from a nymphomaniac called Tatiana.

Then, one drunken night, while voicing their unspoken longings, they pee into a fountain and - lawks-a-mercy - they've swapped bodies...and lifestyles.

Sniggeringly mining the lowest common comedy denominator, Lucas and Moore happily poke fun at insatiable moms-to-be, dangerously pneumatic porn stars and vulnerable babes-in-arms (whose response is projectile pooing in Dave's face).

There's female nudity (from Mann, surprisingly), Farrelly Brothers-style obsession with the toilet, iPhone assisted masturbation and a script that appears to be Reynolds and Bateman reading out exerpts from Viz's Profanisaurus.

Yet, thanks to the firing-on-all-cylinders chemistry between the two leads, it just about works, providing more jocular hits than misses and giving Bateman the chance to ditch the nice guy schtick and Reynolds the opportunity to disinter Van Wilder.

It's not nice...but it's not bad.

Tim Evans

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