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The Change Up vs. The Trip: male angst

This week's hot movie is likely to be "The Change Up," in which a burnt-out lawyer (Jason Bateman) and narcissistic swinger (Ryan Reynolds) trade places because they're envious of each other. But if you want a deeper treatment of the same middle-aged male angst, try "The Trip." It's not a pure book-to-movie adaptation of the sort I usually note here on Fridays; the movie actually followed a British TV series. But it's loaded with literary references. Actors Steve Coogan and Rob Brydon traipse across the north of England, in preparation for an article about the region's great restaurants. (Make sure you have reservations to eat after the show, because you're guaranteed to be hungry.) There are plenty of references to Wordsworth and Coleridge, including bits of their work and shots of the leaden-clouded landscape that inspired them.

This week, I also got a chance to see "Up in the Air," the George Clooney movie that was based on the novel by Walter Kirn. Like "The Trip," it's focused on a middle-aged man who is questioning his life's work. Less hilarious than "The Trip," but very entertaining, and well worth the two hours if you're stuck at home.

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