Archive for September, 2010

Review: The Switch

The weekend after Jennifer Aniston’s new movie, The Switch, opened to disappointing box office numbers, I saw a headline that screamed “Aniston Bombs!”  I’m not sure why certain types of media outlets get so much joy from Jennifer Aniston’s failures, but it does a disservice to a movie as entertaining and heartwarming as this is.  To be fair, I think a lot of people were turned off by the movie’s somewhat icky premise–guy drunkenly substitutes his own sperm for the donor sperm his best friend will use to get pregnant and hilarity ensues.  In fact, even I am slightly grossed out by the movie poster which shows Jason Bateman looking into a specimen cup that holds the aforementioned “donation.”

But back to the movie.  Aniston plays Kassie, a successful network news producer, who, against the sensibilities of society and Bill O’Reilly, decides to get pregnant using a sperm donor and raise the child alone.  Bateman plays Wally, Kassie’s best friend, who is a big ball of neuroses and cynicism.  After Wally drunkenly destroys the donated sperm, he replaces it with his own, blacks out, and forgets it ever happened until six years later when he and Kassie meet again.  By this point, Kassie’s son Sebastian, played by the cutie-patootie Bryce Robinson, shares most of the same neuroses as his unsuspecting daddy.  Among Sebastian’s peculiar traits: Collecting picture frames and imagining the lives of the stock models used in the picture inserts, perusing WebMD to self-diagnose obscure medical conditions, and asking to hold his birthday party at a local kill shelter.  Eventually, Wally realizes that his connection to Sebastian is deeper than he imagined, but Kassie has begun a relationship with the original sperm donor, Roland, played by my future husband Patrick Wilson.

In the real world, there would be no contest between the hyper-masculine, All-American, boy-next-door perfection of Patrick Wilson and the merely cute Jason Bateman.  But in the land of movies, the audience is supposed to root for Wally and Kassie to realize their true feelings and run crashing into each others’ arms.  And thanks to great chemistry between Aniston and Bateman, and, especially Bateman and Robinson, I found myself rooting for Wally to get the girl/boy.  The Switch in some ways is a hard film to market.  For a comedy, it carries a bit more gravitas than, say, The Other Guys, but as a drama, well, there’s that ick-factor I mentioned earlier.  But it is smart, and the leads are all winning, and it deserves better than the Aniston-haters are giving it.


September 1, 2010 at 9:10 pm 2 comments

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