THE CHANGE-UP

As the first of at least two summer movies to feature a scene about
trimming male pubic hair (50/50 is the other), this familiar but
amiable comedy wears its R-rating on its scrotum. And it is not afraid
to get down into the shit. Literally. Both the baby and adult
varieties. That's a pity, because what works in this movie has nothing
to do with bodily fluids, testicle shapes, or even sex. It's the joy
of watching two of our best actors working hard and earning our
affection. If Ryan Reynolds seems to be working a little harder than
Jason Bateman, it's built into their roles. Jason is easing into
middle age, and his willingness to appear almost haggard in contrast
to Ryan's studliness is another example of his generosity as a
performer. That said, while I've praised Reynolds almost since
Critexts began, I've never seen him LISTEN so effectively: watch his
face while Leslie Mann tearfully pours out her heart to him, not
realizing he's her “real” husband. A comedy about character, this
movie might actually (gasp!) have been better as a PG. — Jeff Schultz

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