Olivia Wilde has an enviable career, with a wide variety of roles behind her. Today, she’s also a director, with her second film expected to release in 2022. Many audiences know her for her lead role in TRON: Legacy, her part in Cowboys & Aliens, or for her work voicing the character Bianca in BoJack Horseman over the years. Most recently, many fans spotted her as Gozer the Gozerian in Ghostbusters: Afterlife. One of her movies from her deep backlist is now streaming on Hulu, and people are rediscovering it as it climbs the charts, currently sitting at the number three spot. The Change-Up is a Freaky Friday-style comedy from 2011 starring Jason Bateman and Ryan Reynolds alongside Leslie Mann and Olivia Wilde. The comedy didn’t do well in many respects, but that may make it a solid choice for discovery a decade later on streaming.
Olivia Wilde plays Sabrina McKay. She’s an assistant working with Dave Lockwood (played by Jason Bateman). The Change-Up introduces Bateman and Ryan Reynolds as best friends with very different lives. Bateman is a family man with a respectable job. He’s married to Leslie Mann’s character. Reynolds is a playboy who has a lot of dates with a lot of women. The pair get drunk together, talk about their lives, relieve themselves in a public fountain, and vocally wish to change places. Their wish is then granted, seemingly by the fountain, and the two wake up in each other’s bodies.
Like many movies with body switching, this is where The Change-Up can get confusing. The pair have switched up their lives. After failing to explain the situation to Jason Bateman’s wife, the pair attempt to get a clear picture of the other’s life responsibilities so they can fill in for each other for a while. They head into Bateman’s office, where they meet his assistant, Olivia Wilde. Unexpectedly, Ryan Reynolds (who is actually Wilde’s married boss, unbeknownst to her) is set up on a date with Olivia Wilde. The pair go to dinner together, where she confesses that she used to have a crush on her boss, before she learned he was married. Predictably, the two almost sleep together, but he leaves at the last second.
The Change-Up did not see good reviews. Today, it’s unlikely that Ryan Reynolds or Olivia Wilde would be cast in this comedy from 2011. Rotten Tomatoes has the movie set at a critics’ score of 25%, while the audience rating is a slightly higher (but still rough) 47%. The movie’s trailer tried to market it to audiences who liked Wedding Crashers or The Hangover, but this film missed that mark. In some ways its easy to see those comparisons. Many reviews comment on the humor being foul or vulgar, because despite the one main character being a family man, the story isn’t meant to be a family-friendly comedy.
Reviewers who enjoyed the film felt that it gave them a few laughs and that was worth their time. With that kind of expectation in mind, it might make sense that audiences are liking it a bit better as they find it streaming on Hulu today.
Unfortunately, The Change-Up also had a rough time at the box office. On a budget of $52 million, the film brought in $75.5 million. When it was released in movie theaters, the Olivia Wilde film had a rough time.
The year 2011 also saw Olivia Wilde play Ella Swenson in Cowboys & Aliens, Brooke in Butter, Rachel Salas in In Time, and Mia Conion in On The Inside. The Change-Up clearly came at a time when offers were picking up for Olivia Wilde and she was making great progress in her career. While many of her parts were smaller, she was becoming a name that audiences recognize.
Today, fans are waiting to see her in Don’t Worry Darling. She’ll have a small role in the film as Mary, but not much is known about her character’s part in the story. Florence Pugh and Harry Styles are playing the lead characters. Olivia Wilde will be working hard as the director of the psychological thriller. It will be her second time in the director’s chair. While it still doesn’t have a release date, there’s hope it will come out in 2022.