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The Change-Up

MPAA Rating: R-Rating (MPAA) for pervasive strong crude sexual content and language, some graphic nudity and drug use.

Reviewed by: Joseph Yates

Extremely Offensive
Moviemaking Quality:

Primary Audience:
Romance Comedy
1 hr. 41 min.
Year of Release:
USA Release:
August 5, 2011 (wide—2,700+ theaters)
DVD: November 8, 2011
Copyright, Universal Pictures click photos to ENLARGE Copyright, Universal Pictures Copyright, Universal Pictures Copyright, Universal Pictures Copyright, Universal Pictures Copyright, Universal Pictures Copyright, Universal Pictures Copyright, Universal Pictures Copyright, Universal Pictures
Relevant Issues
Copyright, Universal Pictures

inseparable best friends (male)

irresponsible adult man-child

drunkenness in the Bible

envy / jealousy

The grass is always greener on the other side of the fence.

Sex, Love and Relationships
Learn how to make your love the best it can be. Christian answers to questions about sex, marriage, sexual addictions, and more. Valuable resources for Christian couples, singles and pastors.
Featuring: Ryan ReynoldsMitch
Olivia WildeSabrina
Jason BatemanDave
Leslie MannJamie
Alan ArkinMitch’s Dad
Mircea Monroe … Tatiana
See all »
Director: David Dobkin—“Wedding Crashers,” “Fred Claus,” “Shanghai Knights”
Producer: Original Film
Relativity Media
Joseph M. Caracciolo Jr … executive producer
See all »
Distributor: Universal Pictures

“Who says men can’t change?”

It isn’t often that a comedy with substance comes around. Too bad that when it does, a boatload of raunchy content comes with it. Dave and Mitch are two buddies with very different lives—Dave is a very successful lawyer, married with children, and has always excelled at everything. Mitch, on the other hand, is a high school dropout who sleeps with every woman he can and is attempting to act in pornographic films. One day, after they spend some time together, they end up urinating in a park fountain. They wish for each others’ lives, and all is not as it seems…

This film is an R-rated comedy that well earns its rating. Characters use the f-word too many times to count, along with a--, sh-t, d-mn, g-dd-mn, and p-ssy. There are multiple shots of topless females and one shot of a female’s rear. Many characters also have vivid sex talks, or mention sex organs. Although the movie makes you think twice that there will be a sex scene; there is not. Violence is very mild, limited to Dave’s angry wife slapping both Dave and Mitch multiple times.

Most comedies today are full of shock value laughs, with no substance or heart behind them. Even though “The Change Up” has much language and adult content, it manages to provoke both laughter and heart, sometimes at the same time. While the friends spend time in each other’s bodies, each learns a good deal about the other’s life. As the old adage says

“You can’t really understand another person’s experience till you’ve walked a mile in their shoes.”

This realization each has about how good the other’s life is, or the potential they have, helps them to be content with what they have. The apostle Paul said

“[F]or I have learned how to be content with whatever I have. —Philippians 4:11, NLT.

If we can learn to be content, then life will go much smoother.

Violence: Mild / Profanity: Extreme / Sex/Nudity: Extreme

See list of Relevant Issues—questions-and-answers.

Viewer CommentsSend your comments
Comments below:


Neutral—I happen to be a Christian youth leader, and I have read through the comments made about this film. I thought this film was hilarious, but also agreed that the language was too much and some of the details were very obscene. But we live in a world where this material is deemed amazing and almost acceptable by young people and by adults, and I think I can enjoy this film by accepting its faults and praying that it doesn’t affect the minds of young people.

Overall, I greatly enjoyed this film. So my challenge is to enjoy the art that filmmakers put unto these cinematic experiences, but pray for their hearts. Overall, no offense, and I apologize for any taken, but we need to pray for the men and women who make these films, Hollywood cranks out millions in production cost and to get the actors (who are big actors), they pay them millions, also. So morally they don’t see anything bad… They see a 5 million dollar paycheck and think, kerching!

Jesus gave us free will and said I have come to give you life, and life to the full, these actors and producers, directors, screenwriters think they have lives that live to the full because of status and wealth, and I know that Jesus is the status and wealth that we have. I think, instead of chopping apart films, we should appreciate the obvious God given talent for acting and directing, camera styles, etc, but pray for eyes to be opened.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Offensive / Moviemaking quality: 4
Richard Mcdade, age 20 (United Kingdom)
Negative—This movie is AWFUL! Me and my husband went on a date last night to see this, thinking it was going to be a good funny movie. But we were very wrong. This movie had LOTS of nudity and sexual encounters throughout the entire movie—not to mention the constant use of the f-word and several uses of the GD phrase. I would discourage anyone from seeing this movie and wasting their money.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Extremely Offensive / Moviemaking quality: none
Sierra, age 22 (USA)
Negative—While the plot seems somewhat intriguing, I would definitely not recommend this movie, for its extremely crude content. There are several nude and sexual scenes (three women are shown topless. There is, also, a scene of a character making a dirty movie, and there is plenty of profanity (especially the use of the F-word).
My Ratings: Moral rating: Extremely Offensive / Moviemaking quality: 1
Anonymous, age 23 (USA)
Negative—All I can really say is, this film was extremely vulgar. My fiancé and I were seriously trying to make it through this movie, but we just couldn’t. It had everything from excessive, pointless swearing to rude, crude sexual content. We eventually got up and walked out after one particular scene. We politely talked to someone at the front desk, and they completely understood and gave us a full refund. It’s just sad to see this film’s makers resort to cheap, vulgar comic relief, rather than actually writing a funny movie. The concept of this movie seemed great, and there was so much that could have been done with it. Oh well, at least we got a refund. Hope this helps someone!…
My Ratings: Moral rating: Extremely Offensive / Moviemaking quality: 3
B Fields, age 27 (USA)
Negative—As a 30 year old married woman, I found this movie to be pretty lacking in substance, regardless of the humor sprinkled throughout. It seemed so funny from previews, but be prepared that the humor often comes at the expense of moral values. Every woman in the movie is treated as a sex object, and most are topless (or more) at some point or another, in lengthy, unnecessary scenes. Essentially, it is a male fantasy come to life. Men bored with their lives switch places with their buddy for what turns out to be a week.

In the meantime, the married guy dates his assistant, he has been lusting after, and almost sleeps with her before deciding he does ultimately want his wife back. He takes it really far before stopping himself.

The movie tries to convince you that it is well-meaning and caring to relationships and family, with its trite happy ending… but it clearly isn’t, as both men feed their temptations for an entire week, and face no consequences in the end. I was actually a little surprised at the 2 female leads for taking these roles, being that I usually like their stuff. I wouldn’t waste my money if I were you!
My Ratings: Moral rating: Extremely Offensive / Moviemaking quality: 3½
Valorie, age 30 (USA)
Negative—This movie was rated one of the 10 worst movies of 2011 and also rated a Hard “R” for soft pornographic scenes and the use of the “F” word over 100 times throughout the movie. Family members decided to show this movie while I was visiting. As soon as the pornographic scenes showed up (shortly into the movie), I had to say “Could you stop this movie, or I will have to leave.” Christians should not view such disgusting material. What Would Jesus Do? Would I want Him in the same room while watching such a movie?
My Ratings: Moral rating: Extremely Offensive / Moviemaking quality: ½
Sandra, age 40 (USA)
Comments from non-viewers
Negative—Had to get up and leave, due to nudity porno scene and the many use of a certain word used in so many ways. My husband and I so look forward to seeing a cute movie and, by talk shows, this seems a great movie to view. Within a few minutes of opening scene, we almost got sick to our stomach when the baby potties in the father’s mouth-this should of been a warning then! We called our ministry to advise his Youth Leader of this movie, as we think the rating should be XR or higher and no teenager should be allowed to see this. We are mature adults, and we were very upset that we were led astray by publicity, once again.
Ld Johnson, age 64 (USA)