Ryan Reynolds Body Swaps With Jason Bateman In ‘The Change-Up’

There have been a few projects in Hollywood lately focused on “odd couple” character pairings. For example, just yesterday I wrote of the Duplass’ “Jeff Who Lives at Home,” about two brothers who have this separation of responsibility: one is a lazyass and the other… isn’t.

Today’s addition, a comedy from the writers of “The Hangover” titled “The Change-Up” consists of best friends, one who is a “responsible family man” and one who is a “lazy man-child.” But here’s the real kicker for this movie: the guys swap places, “Freaky Friday” style. According to Variety, Jason Bateman and Ryan Reynolds will be filling those respective roles. And vice versa, if you know what I mean.

As is necessary with body swap movies, whether the adult/kid variety (“Like Father, Like Son”) or adult/adult sort (“Face/Off” counts), the characters must be distinctly different, yes, but also the actors cast must be capable of playing both character types very well. You couldn’t get two more perfect talents for this movie. The “Smokin’ Aces” co-stars have each been terrific in both uptight paternal roles and more laid-back, carefree parts.

The only thing I’d wonder about is if they can mimic each other’s acting style. That’s one of the key elements that made “Face/Off” so entertaining. Getting to watch Nicolas Cage act like John Travolta, and Travolta act like Cage, more than makes up for any issues I might have with the logic of the movie’s plot. And I’m not so sure Reynolds and Bateman are distinct enough as personalities to allow for such impersonation.

As for the other common cliches of these switcheroo movies (which I listed and analyzed elsewhere a year ago), I’m hopeful “The Change-Up” will live up to the genre that gave us such classics as “The Hot Chick,” “Vice Versa” and the late Corey Haim’s “Dream a Little Dream” (I don’t really count films like “17 Again” or “Big” in the genre, but they do fit some of the rules).

“The Change-Up” is set to begin shooting this September. David Dobkin (“Wedding Crashers”) will direct from a script by Jon Lucas and Scott Moore (“The Hangover”). He will also co-produce with Neal Moritz (“Click”).

Do you agree that Jason Bateman and Ryan Reynolds are perfect to switch places in “The Change-Up”? What is your favorite body swap movie?