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'Change-Up' follows trend of racy, R-rated comedies

Actors Jason Bateman and Ryan Reynolds are seen in the 2011 film 'The Change-Up.' (Universal Studios)

August 2, 2011 12:00:00 AM PDT
The "Change-Up," starring Ryan Reynolds and Jason Bateman, follows a big-screen trend for 2011 of very racy, R-rated comedies.

The story of two friends who mysteriously end up switching bodies pushes the R-rated envelope, but Reynolds says there's more to this than the jokes.

"You can't just have a movie that's a whole bunch of gags and sew them together," Reynolds said. "You need to have heart, something that glues it all together."

"You have to get their emotional investment in these characters, so with that comes some heart. It certainly doesn't dilute the R pleasure of this movie. I think it's an added bonus," Bateman added.

"The Change-Up" joins an elite group of films in 2011 in a genre enjoying a banner year. Led by "The Hangover Part II," the summer's five R-rated comedies have grossed more than a billion dollars to date.

"For us, the whole reason to do it was you start shooting and you hit the gas," Reynolds said.

Both actors are veterans of the comedy genre, and both enjoy the freedom that came with this no-holds-barred R rating.

"The stuff that crosses the line and makes you sick end up on the DVD extras, and it's another thing to monetize for the studio," Bateman said.

"The Change-Up" opens Friday, August 5, 2011.

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