Another body-swapping comedy? Sweeeet! That's right, Hollywood paid attention to all the dough those 'Freaky Friday' flicks brought in, and is hoping a bro swap will prove to be just as magical at the box office as the classic mother-daughter switch.
This week's release, 'The Change-Up,' stars Jason Bateman and Ryan Reynolds as a settled daddy and a wild young bachelor, respectively, who wake up one morning to discover they've switched bodies. Uh oh! Hilarious antics are sure to ensue!
Olivia Wilde and Leslie Mann round out the cast as the hot co-worker and wifey. Hmm, Mann must really like the whole stuck-in-another-body concept. Remember her from '17 Again'? Y'know, the one where Matthew Perry wakes up in his younger body? And we're supposed to believe that Perry was as pretty as Zac Efron at some point? Yeah, that one.
My point is that body-swapping comedies are clearly quite viable at the box office. Sure, we'll have to wait until the end of the weekend to see what 'The Change-Up' pulls in, but I suspect it'll be pretty healthy. After all, the tried-and-true premise is amusing and it delivers an important 'grass is always greener' message.
It's promising to see the concept drifting away from family-friendly fare like 'Freaky Friday' and '17 Again.' Hopefully, if 'The Change-Up' does well, we'll see even more slightly risqué takes on the topic.
Until that happens, I've been day-dreaming about some impossible movie body swaps. Imagine if some of the most memorable characters in recent movie history suddenly woke up in each other's bodies? It could never happen (some of these aren't even from the same decade!) but it sure is fun to think about, isn't it? Here are my top five fantasy switches.
1. Carolyn Burnham (Annette Bening) from 'American Beauty' and Randy the Ram (Mickey Rourke) from 'The Wrestler.' Carolyn is all about keeping up appearances, so how would she react waking up in some dump in The Ram's dirty, disheveled body? What would people think?! Ultimately, though, I think Carolyn would roll with her new body and unleash all of her pent-up suburban housewife aggression through some serious physical violence. The Ram in Carolyn's body, on the other hand, would definitely miss some open houses and PTA meetings, but I predict Carolyn's husband Lester would actually prefer the Ram version of his estranged wife (wink, wink).
3. Nurse Ratched (Louise Fletcher) from 'One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest' and Marge Gunderson (Frances McDormand) from 'Fargo.' Marge wouldn't stand for terrorizing the patients, would she? She would certainly be horrified to wake up in a body that everyone is terrified of. Picture what a different place the Salem State Hospital would be under Marge's rule instead of Ratched's. There certainly wouldn't be any lobotomies! You betcha! Salem's gain would be Brainerd's loss, though -- Ratched would most definitely abuse her powers as police chief if she woke up in Marge's body. I have a feeling she might prefer being a cop instead of a nurse, though.
4. Nicky Santoro (Joe Pesci) from 'Casino' and The Dude (Jeff Bridges) from 'The Big Lebowski. Just imagine how Nicky would react to The Dude's BFF Walter (John Goodman). The fights would be epic! Nicky in The Dude's body would totally win. Heck, Nicky in Nicky's body would win by the sheer force of will alone. Everyone in Nicky's world, meanwhile, would be completely thrown off when the biggest spaz they know suddenly mellows out and becomes more interested in bowling than picking fights. [WARNING: The clip below features Nicky Santoro. So yeah, there are some f-bombs.]
5. Neo (Keanu Reeves) from 'The Matrix' and Milton (Stephen Root) from 'Office Space.' If Milton thought getting moved to the basement was bad, just wait 'til he wakes up in an alternate reality! Sluggish Milton would probably struggle to keep up with Trinity and Morpheus, even if he had use of Neo's body. Restless Neo would surely hate the office. It takes more than a shiny red stapler to satisfy him! Plus he'd have to adjust to life as an ugly middle-aged loser.