Thursday, August 18, 2011

Raunchy Comedy Double Feature: Jason Bateman Edition: Horrible Bosses (B+) and The Change Up (D+)

Because of how well my last double feature was received, along with the fact I saw Horrible Bosses and The Change Up within a week of each other, I'm bringing back the "Raunchy Comedy Double Feature" review idea from two months ago. However, this time it's with two less compelling movies, but that's okay. Enough of this opening, here are the reviews...

Review: Horrible Bosses (B+)

Let me begin this review by stating that when I first heard the premise of Horrible Bosses I thought it was an incredible idea for a film: What if you turned Alfred Hitchcock's suspense masterpiece Strangers on a Train into a comedy set in the modern day? Then when the film began casting its roles, the film began to look even better. With a cast of Charlie Day, Jason Sudeikis, Kevin Spacey, Collin Farrell, Jaimie Foxx, and the recurring theme of Horrible Bosses and The Change Up: Jason Bateman, how could you possibly go wrong? Well, they cast Jennifer Aniston.

Most readers do not know this, but Jennifer Aniston might just sit along side Katherine Heigi and Sarah Jessica Parker as one of my three least favorite actresses working today. Nearly every movie I've ever seen her in has been borderline terrible. The reason why I said "nearly every movie" is because Jennifer Aniston might just be the best thing in this movie, and there are plenty of "best things" that she's going up against.

For one, there's Charlie Day from the TV show It's Always Sunny In Philadelphia. To be honest, I've never watched an episode of the show, but this movie definitely made me want to. In the film, he plays a character who's kinda like Michael Cera if he was loaded on cocaine the whole time. His chemistry with Jennifer Aniston, who plays the perpetrator of his constant sexual harassment, is fun to watch, and his chemistry with the rest of the cast is fun as well.

As a matter of fact, the chemistry between the characters is so fun to watch that it's actually better than the storyline I was so excited for. You wait while Jason Bateman collects intel (actually just him chilling out in a car) on his boss for him to return to the conversations with Jason Sudeikis and Charlie Day.

Something must also be said for Collin Farrell's portrayal of Jason Sudeikis' coke-head boss, whose role is unfortunately regulated to a cameo because of his (spoiler alert) quick death by the Kevin Spacey character. Every word that comes out of Collin Farrell's mouth is absolutely hilarious, and gives me a surprising reason to seek out the 1985 remake of Fright Night, where Collin Farrell once again gives a comedic role.

Overall, Horrible Bosses is an absolutely hilarious film with great performances around the board. Despite minor plotting flaws, it should without a doubt be seeked out if you want a good laugh. It also happens to be a lot better than...

Review: The Change Up (D+)

Just as much as I thought the premise of Horrible Bosses was great, I thought the plot of The Change Up seemed cheap and seemingly terrible. The trailers (which were also in front of Bridesmaids and The Hangover: Part II to make a connection between the two "double features") lacked any kind of humor, and while I usually like Jason Bateman, I've never really felt any love for Ryan Reynolds.

For those who have some how avoided the hundreds of commercials producer Relativity Media has thrown at both the small and silver screen, The Change Up is about two unlikely friends who while urinating in a fountain confess their love for the other's life. The result of this urination incident is a good ol' 80's style body switch.

Pointlessly dumb movies like this are not usually the type I like to review for the site, but because I put up a mini-review for The Smurfs a few days ago, I didn't think I could sink much lower than that for review filler material. Luckily for me, The Change Up doesn't sink to quite the level of awful that The Smurfs does, but it at some points gets fairly close. Anyway, when a film is getting compared to The Smurfs to begin with, it isn't a good sign.

My main problem with the film, is how there is absolutely no reason for Jason Bateman's character to be any remote type of friend to the Ryan Reynolds character. Towards the beginning of the film, something is mentioned about how they used to go to school together, but I don't even buy that. Jason Bateman looks at least 15 years older than Ryan Reynolds in this film, and that even has nothing to do with my original complaint!

Ryan Reynolds and Jason Bateman have absolutely nothing in common, lead completely different lives, and both are actively destructive towards the other. The chemistry between the characters become so bad, that I desperately want to get back to the unfunny raunchy scenarios the body switch gets these characters into. Nothing in this film works, other than the occasional joke here and there.

Overall, The Change Up is not a good movie, plain and simple. Without a doubt Horrible Bosses should be seeked out over it.

Grades: Horrible Bosses (B+) The Change Up (D+)

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