THE SWITCH Written by Allan Loeb Directed by Josh Gordon and Will Speck Starring Jason Bateman, Jennifer Aniston, Jeff Goldblum, Juliette Lewis and Patrick Wilson
Oh what a cynical, love starved world we live in today that a movie like THE SWITCH can be called a romantic comedy. A) It is rarely, if ever, funny – not that is doesn’t make numerous, desperate attempts to be just that. And B) there is absolutely nothing romantic about two aging friends who are so caught up in their own self-imposed neurosis that they cannot see how easy it could all be if they just saw each other for who they really are. It’s like they’ve given up but yet they’re asking us not to.
Jennifer Aniston is Kassie and Kassie wants a baby. Kassie doesn’t have a boyfriend though; she just has a best friend named Wally (Jason Bateman), an aptly named wallower who has been in love with Kassie for years. Rather than go the clichéd route of trying to have babies between besties, Kassie takes the other now clichéd approach by having a baby with a baster – y’know, of the turkey variety – instead. She doesn’t need a man even though the one she wants is standing right in front of her but Wally will have none of this. In one of those drunk moments that no one ever remembers the next day, he accidentally ruins the sperm sample Kassie wanted to use and replaces it with his own so as not to get caught. It is essentially a horrible thing to do and an act that could end their friendship. Hilarity is supposed to ensue but what does is a drawn out delay between the actual act and the inevitable reveal – oh and a lot of moping and complaining in between.
I cannot figure out how it took two directors to put this film together. This is especially true when novice filmmakers, Josh Gordon and Will Speck (BLADES OF GLORY) don’t seem to have any clear direction between the two of them as to what they’re trying to say. There is only one thing that makes THE SWITCH watchable and that is Jason Bateman. As incredibly dry and uninspired as the whole thing is, Bateman manages to bring subtlety and humanity when there is none to be found. We might know Wally; we may have even been him at some point in our lives. We also probably don’t enjoy spending too much time with him either because he just drags us down. Subsequently, so does THE SWITCH.
*1/2 out of **** Why anyone will actually like "The Switch" is beyond me. You don't have to be a cinephile such as (probably) you and (most definitely) me to know that films such as this one come out every week. The concepts, the lamely-written characters, the plotting; all of them are old, old, old. Now, the problem with "The Switch" is not that it's any worse than most rom-coms that tend to release nowadays. In fact, it's better than SOME of them, but all-the-same, just … more
My local newspaper critic at the Arizona Republic panned this movie and gave it a one star (out of a possible of five stars). I almost didn't go to see it because of the poor review. Often my wife and I catch a movie on the weekend and this weekend there are very poor choices (from our view) for new movies. We decided to go see if The Switch was really a one star movie or something different. I do not always agree with the newspaper reviewer (probably a different value system). … more
A few months ago, I was especially harsh on "The Back-Up Plan," a rotten little romantic comedy about a woman who decides to get herself artificially inseminated. Now we have "The Switch," which is about the same thing. It's an improvement, although not by much, I'm sorry to say. That's because it makes slightly smaller versions of the exact same mistakes: It takes an engaging idea and robs it of just about anything meaningful, leaving behind a series of jokes that are stretched to the breaking … more
Hello Lunchers. I am a thirty-something guy making his way in Toronto. I am a banker by day and a film critic the rest of the time. Sensitive, sharp and sarcastic are just a few words that start with … more
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Jennifer Aniston continues her breezy success as queen of the contemporary romantic comedy in the offbeatThe Switch, which brings together elements ofWhen Harry Met Sally…and even episodes ofFriends. Aniston is charming and capable as Kassie, an accomplished New York career gal who decides it's time to have a baby--husband or no husband. But inThe Switchit's the men around Kassie who become truly memorable, and for whichThe Switchbecomes a must-see. Kassie's best friend is Wally (the wryly and neurotically hilarious Jason Bateman), who may have deeper feelings for his good friend than he's willing to admit. Kassie's recruited sperm donor is Roland, the handsome Nordic hunk with a sweet heart, played with finesse by Broadway star Patrick Wilson. And the fruit of the insemination is Kassie's son, Sebastian, acted with gravitas and thoughtfulness by the young Thomas Robinson, who's so talented he should grow up to be a huge star. Special mention goes to Jeff Goldblum, who takes his own befuddled persona stereotype to new heights as Wally's concerned friend Leonard. All Aniston really has to do is not overdo the "cute" as she dances among these talented actors, and she accomplishes far more than that. "The switch" of the title involves a snafu during the process of Kassie's insemination--and the results of that plot twist shape the rest of the movie. Though audiences can see much more quickly whom Kassie belongs with,...