I’m not sure who we have to thank for the level of raunch/profanity that comedic flicks of late have achieved (The Hangover? Or Bridesmaids, perhaps?), but I, for one, surely am grateful. Two movies I’ve recently watched way surpassed my expectations and, in both cases, it’s at least in part due to the vulgar content.
The Change-Up is a tale that’s told every few years and is as predictable as it is unrealistic. Two people magically switch bodies, can’t change back until a set number of weeks has passed, screws up the other’s life for a few days but eventually, after walking in the other’s shoes, learns a thing or two about their counterpart and their relationship is forever enriched. It was father and son in 1987’s Like Father Like Son and in 1988’s Vice Versa. The story took a little spin in 2003 when mother and daughter switched in Freaky Friday. This time around, it isn’t relatives but life-long friends Mitch (Ryan Reynolds) and Dave (Jason Bateman) who swap bodies and, therefore, lives. Mitch is the slacker, pseudo-actor who beds a different woman every night of the week while Dave works his butt off to make partner in his law firm and still find time for his wife and 3 kids. Predictable? Yes. Cheesy? Yes. Anywhere near the realm of possibility? Nope. Nevertheless, it works. What sets this silly tale apart from its predecessors is the fact that it’s rated R, and with good reason. I’m not sure that a single sentence was uttered that didn’t contain at least one profane word, most of them being the revered F-bomb. The humor was crude, vulgar and, much of the time, extremely sexual in nature. Nude breasts abound, alcohol and marijuana use were rampant and the word ‘masturbation’ popped up within the first half-hour. This is my kind of movie.
What really drove it home were the performances given by the flick’s two main leads. Reynolds and Bateman are comedic geniuses. I’ve loved RR since Van Wilder. In my book, his dry, witty sarcasm just doesn’t get any better. As much as I love him, and as hilarious as his performance truly was, he frequently got trumped by his co-lead. Jason Bateman is wonderfully funny. He’s capable of the outrageous and the ironic, the dry deadpan and the slapstick. He’s rapidly becoming a favorite of mine. Hearing him say things like: “That puts my balls on your chin by dinner” makes me as happy as Sunday afternoon nookie.
The second surprisingly profane movie I’ve seen lately came out last year but I’ve only just gotten around to watching it. Going The Distance stars Drew Barrymore and Justin Long as two lovers living on opposite sides of the nation, trying to make the long-distance thing work. Barrymore’s performance is uneven and it didn’t give me the cuddly “awww” feeling that my all-time favorite romantic comedies inspire, but the writing is good and overall, it is damn funny. Long and Barrymore have adorable chemistry and the side characters, including Charlie Day, Christina Applegate, Jason Sudeikis and Jim Gaffigan, get loads of laughs. Binge-drinking, bong-smoking and sex on the dinner table ensue, not to mention the near-constant stream of F-words. Fuck, how I love the F-word.
The best line was delivered by Christina Applegate in reference to her extracurricular activities: “Dry humping is no fucking joke!” Indeed, madam. Indeed.