Some people live the dream. They have everything you don’t. If only you could have a life like theirs, things would be perfect… Or would they? ‘The Change-Up’ from director David Dobkin is an engaging iteration of this time-tested comedy movie premise. It follows Dave (Jason Bateman), who lives the stressful life of an attorney and a father of baby twins, with a wife who is losing romantic interest in him. His childhood friend Mitch (Ryan Reynolds) is a financially struggling actor, who shirks all responsibilities and lives alone. Yet they see each others’ lives as perfect, and after a night of drinking, wish they could switch lives. They wake up the next day with their wishes fulfilled.
The rosy picture they had of one another’s lives soon fades away as they try to work together to avoid destroying them. The identity-switch movie finds its appeal in a light-hearted exploration of its premise and the antics of the two leads, who go back and forth with crude but effective humor. The film utilizes its R-rating to the fullest, with a fair bit of partial nudity, more for comic relief than for eroticism. ‘The Change-Up’ is an adult-oriented buddy comedy that unapologetically uses its characters and setting for its kind of humor, a refreshing approach that may leave audiences wanting more. We’ve curated a list of movies like ‘The Change-Up’ that offer an entertaining dose of rib-tickling comedy and drama!
8. The Hot Chick (2002)
‘The Hot Chick’ by Tom Brady explores the humorous consequences of a magical transmutation of a popular high school girl into the body of a lowlife criminal man (Rob Schneider). The story follows Jessica Spencer (Rachel McAdams), a beautiful girl who seemingly has it all. However, getting cursed by a fellow classmate leads to an unexpected and comical twist in her life. With the help of her quirky friends and an eclectic cast of characters, Jessica embarks on a journey to reverse her curse, one which leads her to self-discovery and personal growth. The film shares the body-switching premise with ‘The Change-Up’, with the added comedic gold that comes from a gender swap. Having Rob Schneider put on a very convincing high school girl impression leaves the audience with plenty of laughs throughout the movie.
7. Twins (1998)
Director Ivan Reitman takes us through the story revolving around two long-lost brothers, Julius and Vincent, who were separated at birth. The two could not be any more different. Julius (Arnold Schwarzenegger) is the perfect physical specimen of a man, but very simple and innocent at heart. Vincent (Danny Devito), on the other hand, is a short womanizing crook, who is on the run from loan sharks. When Julius finds out he has a brother, and more so that he was abandoned at an orphanage, he takes it upon himself to find him and make amends.
The movie follows their journey to reconnect, leading to a series of humorous and heartwarming situations. As Julius and Vincent embark on an adventure to discover their true identities and the circumstances surrounding their separation, the film explores themes of family, belonging, and personal growth. With its blend of comedy and heart, ‘Twins’ provides a delightful and entertaining experience for viewers. Much like ‘The Change-Up’, this classic comedy relies on differences in the personalities of its two leads as a humorous set-up. The characters’ behavior is in stark contrast of their physical builds. The diminutive Vincent threatens, womanizes, and acts like a goon; whereas the towering Julius is reserved, good-natured and considerate. This absurd contrast is brought to hysterical life with brilliant performances and unexpectedly explosive chemistry between Schwarzenegger and Devito.
6. Get Him to the Greek (2010)
Aldous Snow (Russell Brand), a prominent English rock star, experiences a downward spiral marked by substance abuse and a disastrous record following a painful breakup. On the other side of the world, in a recession-hit record company in Los Angeles, Aaron Green(Jonah Hill) is given a career-defining task by his boss – to bring Aldous from London to L.A. within a tight 72-hour timeframe for an important concert. The only problem is that the musician doesn’t want to take anything seriously and falls into further degeneration, threatening to take Aaron down with him. This Nicholas Stoller-helmed, R-rated film’s hysterics are sure to be enjoyed by viewers of ‘The Change-Up.’ Russell Brand appears to be right at home with his party-animal persona, with Johan Hill in his element as a wall-flower ready for his proverbial booming when coaxed by the Rockstar.
5. Anger Management (2003)
A hilarious misunderstanding aboard an airplane sets off a chain of events that leads to a mild-mannered Dave Buznik(Adam Sandler) being court-ordered to undergo anger management therapy. His therapist, Dr. Buddy Rydell (Jack Nicholson), is a wildly unpredictable and somewhat psychopathic character who employs unconventional methods to help Dave control his anger. This Peter Segal directed film is filled with side-splitting scenes and an unhinged and explicit style of comedy that will fit right in with audiences of ‘The Change-Up’. Jack Nicholson once again proves his mastery over psychotically unhinged characters, with Adam Sandler’s Dave initially pushing away his crazy, yet ultimately embracing it.
As Dave’s sessions with Buddy intensify, the unorthodox treatment methods begin to wreak havoc on Dave’s life, pushing him to his limits. However, Buddy, in his own peculiar way, recognizes a problem in Dave that could get much worse if left unaddressed, and he might be the only one who can save Dave from himself.
4. Chaos Theory (2007)
Frank (Ryan Reynolds) is an incredibly uptight and hyper-organized individual, but his meticulously crafted life takes an unexpected turn when he discovers that his seemingly perfect world is far from what it appears to be. As the story unfolds, ‘Chaos Theory,’ by director Marcos Siega, becomes a tale of personal transformation and self-discovery as Frank begins to lose not only his grip on reality but also the people and relationships that matter most to him.
A bizarre yet medically accurate twist of fate serves as the catalyst for his downward spiral into chaos, leading him to the brink of losing everything he holds dear. In ‘The Change-Up’, Reynolds acted out two completely opposite personalities as Mitch and Dave switched bodies. Fans of the film will relish Reynolds in ‘Chaos Theory’ as Frank does not switch to an opposite personality instantly, but undergoes a slow transformation until he becomes everything he despised.
3. I Love You, Man (2009)
In ‘I Love You, Man,’ Peter Klaven (Paul Rudd) is a real estate agent about to get married, but he lacks close male friends. His search for a best man leads him to Sydney (Jason Segel), a new friend who complicates his engagement and career by helping Klaven explore a more unrestrained and expressive side of himself. The film by John Hamburg delves into the dynamics of male friendships and their impact on romantic relationships, exploring the question of whether guys can be friends without jeopardizing their love lives. One can draw a parallel between Mitch and Dave from ‘The Change-Up,’ and Peter and Sydney, in that neither of them are good for each other’s lives from a career or romantic relationship point of view. Their friendship threatens to sabotage a part of their lives, and yet it may just be worth it.
2. Freaky Friday (2003)
A possible inspiration for ‘The Change-Up’ may have been found in Director Mark Waters’s ‘Freaky Friday’. Tess Coleman and her teenage daughter Anna have a glaring generation gap, struggling to relate to each other’s choices and viewpoints. A heated argument erupts during a dinner at a Chinese restaurant one Thursday night, and the restaurant owner’s mother gives them fortune cookies. To their surprise, they wake up the next day in each other’s bodies.
As Tess and Anna grapple with their new personas, they gradually gain insights into each other’s lives. This unexpected swap leads to some hysterical scenarios, but they also develop a deeper understanding of one another. Ultimately, it’s their newfound mutual respect that helps them mend their fractured relationship. The film makes use of the duo’s generational gap and clashing worldviews to great comedic effect, which makes their efforts to reconcile and work together even more heart-warming.
1. Big (1998)
Josh Baskin (Tom Hanks), a young boy with a crush on an older girl, wishes to be grown-up at a carnival Zoltar machine. The next morning, he wakes up in the body of a 30-year-old, still retaining his childlike personality. With the guidance of his best friend Billy, Josh learns to navigate the challenges of adulthood. He lands a job as a toy designer and attracts a beautiful girlfriend who is drawn to his youthful charm.
However, the pressures of work and the complexities of his relationship with Susan lead Josh to yearn for the simplicity of childhood and the comforts of home. The film, directed by Penny Marshall, excels in delivering laughs and feel-good charm in droves. Tom Hank’s faithful portrayal of an overgrown boy deconstructing a man’s world with his signature charm, leaves the viewer cheering for him all the way. This movie is one that will leave the audiences of ‘The Change-Up’ beaming and feeling wholesome.
Read More: Best Comedy Movies of All Time