There are enough flashes of hilarity in The Switch to keep you laughing pretty consistently throughout. Bateman is at the top of his game here, and Jennifer Aniston actually verges on being funny, but there are some weak performances from the supporting cast and some terrible script decisions that sabotage all the goodwill those two build up, and the ending is like a slap in the face. Which is unfortunate, because for a second I thought I had found a Jennifer Aniston movie I could watch without guilt.
In the movie, Bateman plays Wally, a neurotic New Yorker who is best friends with Midwest transplant Kassie (Aniston). They used to date, but became friends after he proved to be a relationship disaster, and now he shows her (and everyone else) photographs of possible growths, and she tells him when he's making sex noises while eating food. When she tells him that she's tired of waiting for Mr. Right and wants to be come a mother, he is resistant to the idea for various reasons that may or may not be excuses, and ultimately gets blackout drunk at the party where Kassie will inseminate herself with the fresh seed of donor Roland (Patrick Wilson). Naturally, Wally spills the waiting "ingredient," replaces it with his own, goes home, and wakes up not knowing what happened the previous night.
Kassie gets pregnant and moves away to raise her child in her hometown, then comes back seven years later with Sebastian, who is basically a little version of Wally. The kid is borderline special, self-diagnosing on Web MD, obsessing over saving mistreated animals and collecting picture frames with the original photos in them, and Thomas Robinson plays the role pretty adorably. Wally can't help but fall in love with the kid, especially once he puts two and two together, and when Roland comes back into the picture at Kassie's invitation, Wally gets legitimately worried about losing two things he cares about. His interactions with the obliviously damaged Roland are hysterical, and his frank discussions with Sebastian are also pretty entertaining.
Sadly, not all of the dialogue is so great. Jeff Goldblum, who plays Wally's boss and best friend, seems to be remembering his lines from memory -- poorly -- and putting so much of the trademark Goldblum stammer on them it almost sounds like he's saying more than he is, which, ultimately, isn't much. Little is also said by Juliette Lewis, as Kassie's friend, although in her case it feels like we spend a disproportionate amount of time watching her, as she decides whether to say something else or leave the scene. And the pat, barely explained resolution to the whole affair, after a lot of pain and heartache has gone around, amounts to a shoulder shrug, as if to say, "Eh, you know how these things end." So, in summary, if you get emotionally overwhelmed watching parents bond with their young children, and watching a cold, emotionless man realize what it is he really wants, then there might be enough here to make it worth your while. But if you're just coming for the comedy, you may find yourself wishing you could switch your ticket for The Other Guys.
How unrealistic is The Switch? Find out.
Did you see the movie? Let us know what you thoughts below, then see which post-Friends Jennifer Aniston projects we hate the most!
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