Murphy’s Law – I hate myself for wanting to see The Change-Up

Joel Murphy

Joel Murphy

I’ve seen a lot of movies this summer and it seems like every single one of them has played a trailer for the The Change-Up. I’m completely numb to it at this point. I know every single beat. (Meet Dave. Meet Mitch. “How You Like Me Now.” “I wish I had your life.” Lightning. “You’ve been Thunderstruck.” “No you didn’t … obviously, obviously, obviously, super married.” Then, depending on which version of the trailer it is,* it ends with either the Leslie Mann Thai food joke or the daughter taking down another girl on stage.)

* This is the most fascinating thing about the trailer – there are actually two different versions depending on what movie it’s being shown in front of. The more risque one has the Thai food joke, Dave getting poop flung in his face instead of baby powder and Mitch describing various sexual positions he engages in with one of his conquests. The less-offensive trailer shows more of Mitch (after he’s switched places with Dave) interacting with Dave’s kids and gives us a joke about him forcing one girl to come over to his place naked because she’s a kleptomaniac.

The movie looked stupid the first time I saw the trailer and subsequent viewings have me convinced it’s going to be terrible. Most likely, it will just be a collection of easy jokes about how stressful raising a family is and how wacky being a manwhore is. Then it will probably have some sort of tacked on, cheesy ending where both guys learn a little something from the experience and end up seeing their own life in a brand new way. (Most likely with Dave treasuring life as a family man after seeing how empty Mitch’s bachelorhood is and Mitch figuring out he’s ready to settle down, probably with Olivia Wilde.)

The Change-Up probably has a few laughs in it, but I’m guessing it all wears out it’s welcome pretty quickly. (I don’t trust any movie that tries to get three different laughs out of poop jokes in the trailer – all that’s missing is a nut shot to let me know it’s truly terrible.) I’m incredibly suspicious by just how much advertising they are doing. In addition to the trailer, I’ve seen a copious amount of different TV spots. And there has been quite a bit of online marketing as well. Granted, they are opening against Rise of the Planet of the Apes, which is going to be a juggernaut, but it still seems like they realize they need to hype this movie as much as possible because its ticket sales are going to plummet quickly after the opening weekend.

All that being said, there is still some small part of me that wants to see this movie. It’s completely inexplicable, but deep down I’m curious to see how this all plays out.

I wish I could blame it all on the Olivia Wilde factor. She is so gorgeous and captivating that I’m pretty convinced I’d watch two hours of her preparing and filing her taxes (and I’d even pay 3D prices to see it). So knowing that she has a sex scene with Ryan Reynold’s abs (one that reportedly involved CGIing nipples onto her to replace the pasties that ended up on screen in the final edit), could be a motivating factor for me.

But sadly, that’s not the case.

No, deep down, for some unknown reason, I just really like body switching movies.

I’m not sure what it is about the concept, but something about it appeals to me. (And anyone who listens to the podcast knows that Lars and I came up with our own body switching movie starring Clint Howard.) I’m guessing it was hard-wired into me in the 80s when I watched movies like Vice Versa, the original Freaky Friday and even Big (which isn’t the traditional body switching formula, but is close enough). It’s an easy way to get laughs, but it works. The kid has to act like an adult now – but still wants to do kid things. It’s the ultimate fantasy when you are little – being big enough to ride all the roller coasters, reach things on the top shelf and answer the phone without accidentally being called “ma’am,” while making decidedly un-adult decisions like eating ice cream for dinner or blowing your paycheck on G.I. Joes and Nintendo games.

Then, of course, Dr. Sam Beckett came along with his Quantum Leap accelerator and brought a whole new dynamic to the body switching genre. My love for Quantum Leap, which is just as strong today as it was when the show first aired, can best be described as unhealthy.

So against my better judgement, I find some small part of me urging me to see Ryan Reynolds and Jason Bateman switch places in a poop-filled comedy. Right now, the more rational, not-wanting-to-sit-through-awful-movies part of me is winning out, but who knows what will happen as Friday creeps closer and closer.

But if I do end up buying a ticket to The Change-Up this weekend, something tells me I’ll be wishing I could switch places with anyone not in the theater.

Joel Murphy is the creator of HoboTrashcan, which is probably why he has his own column. He loves pugs, hates Jimmy Fallon and has an irrational fear of robots. You can contact him at

  1. Kaycee K August 4, 2011
  2. Kaycee K August 4, 2011

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