Fans of the recent strand of US comedies including the excellent Horrible Bosses and The Hangover would be mistaken to think that The Change-Up was anywhere near the same league.
Sure, it features some familiar faces and good acting. From the ever-reliable and super versatile Ryan Reynolds (Buried, The Amityville Horror), to tried-and-tested Jason Bateman (Horrible Bosses, Paul, Juno) and Leslie Mann (The 40-Year-Old-Virgin, Knocked Up), the cast is certainly at hand to deliver a laugh or two. Which in fact they do, especially in the promising first half.
The problem, however, is in the script. Past the first hour, the film takes an unnecessary swerve towards a syrupy morass that piles up by the minute and starts oozing more off cheese than a chunk of Stilton left to seep under the Arizona sun.
It's as if ideas had run out and the only option left was to drown the whole thing into an unwitting caricature of the worst cinematic fluff that ever came out of Hollywood.
Seriously, it becomes absolutely insufferable. Even when you think that enough violins have been unleashed out of their case and that, surely, producers and directors would now reinject some last-minute grit and comedy-value into the plot, more soppy scenes come to hit you in the face, wetter than an aqueous flannel.
Verdict? Good if you tap on the button that says STOP about an hour into it. Unwatchable after that.