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I went to see the sneak preview of this movie last night, walking in
with low expectations. I'm not a huge fan of Jennifer Anniston, and the
concept sounded a bit low brow...so I went in pretty cynical. I was
pleasantly surprised! It not only "didn't suck" but was actually pretty
great. I thought the subject could have easily made this very cringe
worthy and hard to believe - and yet it was handled in such a way that
it didn't seem THAT far-fetched (as Hollywood movies go)and the
characters remained believable and even sympathetic at times.
I LOVED Jason Bateman's character. He is negative, neurotic, funny and cute all at the same time. Aniston played her role very classy, and did not try to be cutesy or overly dramatic.
I rarely believe cute little kids in movies, yet the show stealer for me was Sebastian, the son. This kid is going to be a super star one day if he keeps it up! He is just the right amount of adorable/quirky while never overdoing it. His big brown eyes well up with tears in just the right way (choked me up a couple of times), and yet could deliver 'quirk' with complete deadpan expression. Brilliant! All in all, I laughed, teared up, and managed to enjoy every minute of the experience. Is it Citizen Kane? No. But it's darn good entertainment.
"The Switch" is like a romantic comedy, except better because it gives
you everything you want: romance and comedy with a story and
characters. They buck the trend to make the romantic elements absurd
and instead shower us with comedy and very little sap.
Jennifer Aniston is just a cute girl that the audience can accept as a character, but Jason Bateman is everything you want in a leading man. Very good looking but not in a typical way, plays up neurotic with aplomb, and is hilarious all the way through. We easily fall in love with him from beginning to end.
"The Switch" actually gives us a story, one where our hero has to evolve and mature as he realizes and understands the value that Aniston and her son bring to his life. Again, Jason Bateman is the kind of man that we have been waiting for in romantic comedies, because he actually has the talent to portray all of that, and do it with comedy. A romantic comedy that is cute, funny, romantic, mature and where you actually welcome the story line - what more could you ask for?
So I saw The Switch over this weekend and I must say I expected this to
be a complete failure and it surprised me to not be that. Matter of
fact, the movie stands out pretty well through Aniston's filmography.
The story is not complicated, runs smooth and gets your attention. The
story revolves around Wally Mars (Jason Bateman) a middle-age single
guy who has a hard-time finding his match and Kassie Larson (Jennifer
Aniston), his best-friend. At Kassie's semen-party, Wally gets drunk
and switches the donator's sperm with his own without realizing and
forgetting completely about what happened to next day. After seven
years of being separated by distance Kassie movies back to her town and
of course, she starts to talk again to her "best-friend". Problems
appear only when Wally sees that Kassie's kid is acting pretty much
similar like him so he remembers what he did and decides to tell Kassie
the truth. Of course, this story has it's clichés and I'm the most
bored person on the earth by clichés but this movie is a little bit
different. It's not that funny, it has it's funny moments which were
handled well but the movie it-self is more of a romance than a comedy
so I enjoyed it more than others who expected a million laughs from it.
As far as the acting, this is definitely Aniston's best movie this year and I liked her attitude in this even though she portrays almost the same character but it's such an improvement from The Bounty Hunter. Jason Bateman was very good, hilarious at points as usual and actually approached a more serious tone for this role. The rest was good and I really was not bothered by anything at all. The characters were lovely and I was surprised for them to not look over-acted and exaggerated.
The cinematography, editing were pretty much normal, nothing to be mentioned and the score was as usual, typical for a romantic movie. With all these I want to say that this movie is not BAD and I don't understand people who love to bash this movie just for it's clichés and stuff like that. This movie is a simple good time for a boring afternoon. It's far from being great but it's such a better choice than most of the wack stuff that studios put out.
I think critics have been conditioned to think that any movie with Jennifer Aniston in it these days has to suck. I happily declare that this one doesn't. It has a likable romance. The dialogue is actually funny (especially anything that comes out of Jeff Goldblum's mouth). Based on the premise - which comes off much less implausible than it probably should - I was expecting a lot more lowbrow comedy and was pleasantly surprised. And Jason Bateman is a wonderful and underrated leading man. The voice-overs are perhaps a bit insipid and probably could have been skipped entirely, but that's a minor complaint. I enjoyed the film. 7 out of 10.
Unmarried Cassie (Aniston) wants to have a baby and has a Sperm Party
with donor Roland (Wilson) in tow. The deed gets done, but the
specified cup gets switched by Wally (Bateman), who gets so drunk he
doesn't remember doing it. Neurotic Wally has a thing for Cassie, but
does nothing about it. Seven years later when he meets Cassie's son,
Sebastian (Robinson), Wally sees many of his mannerisms in the kid.
This should be interesting. Funny too.
First of all, there is nothing uncomfortable in here. But, it is Sebastian who will get to you. The banter between Cassie and Wally is good, but when Sebastian comes on the scene, you know you have to see this through. Believe me, the kid will get to you. The lines (and not entirely easy ones) that Thomas Robinson has to say as Sebastian are unbelievable in that they are flawless and to the point. Amazing for a 6-yr old going on 30.
There is comedy but it comes between Wally and Sebastian and it's quite enjoyable. You find yourself wishing there were more scenes with Wally and Sebastian. These scenes are the hooks and why you stay. There is some adult humor too, but it's old hat and kind of expected.
Nice to see Jason Bateman getting a lead and this should be a stepping stone to other leads. The chemistry between Bateman and Aniston was good for the characters they portrayed. Aniston is still Rachel (character from the Friends TV show) and seems most comfortable with that role so there is nothing new with her in here. Hey, we like Rachel. What's not to like? She had a chance to branch out when she did DERAILED, a good drama with with Clive Owen, but that was just a one-time thing apparently. Too bad, as she was good in that one. Jeff Goldblum performed well, as always, but still has that Gary Shandling look on his face like he is going to burst out laughing hysterically at any moment. All the cast performed to expectations and that was very good.
This does play out like a made-for-TV movie, but the chemistry between Bateman and Robinson makes it all worthwhile. This was their show.
Violence: No. Sex: No. Nudity: No. Language: No.
well, I rented this film only because it was the only one that I hadn't see from redbox. I usually do not like Jennifer Aniston in anything but the TV show Friends, and quite honestly she wasn't great but she certainly did not 'sneeze on the buffet'. It was Jason Bateman that really carried this film. He's a very under-rated actor. The film is about friend of the opposite sex, with one, the male of course, having more feelings than the other. When he finds out that she wants to have a baby and is looking for the perfect man for his sperm, he's hurt cause she didn't pick him. The film really explores parenthood in the modern age and also dynamics of friends, and even fatherhood. It's a comedy, but it has many dramatic and poignant elements to it. I'd recommend it.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Overall this was a terrible movie. Let me start by saying that I didn't
know anything about the movie before I saw it, I hadn't even seen the
poster and had no idea what the 'switch' referred to until it happened.
In the beginning stages of the movie I thought it would be okay, an interesting feminist representation of women taking an alternative route to fertility and their own goals and dreams. A light look at a non-traditional family set up (I didn't think she would move away). I realise now that expecting Jennifer Aniston to be a part of a feminist anti heteronormal movie was asking a bit much (I thought Wally was gay and would help her raise her kid!).
Anyway, so then things started to go downhill. For starters any respectable Feminist movie would not include such a blatant violation of a woman, no matter how mainstream it is trying to be. Seriously, the actual switch of the 'ingredient' is tantamount to extreme sexual assault, first of all, in an earlier scene, he had explicitly suggested she use his 'ingredient' and she said no. The idea that hijacking her pregnancy is a theme that can be seen - on any level - as comedic is really disturbing to me. And before you say it, it doesn't matter how drunk he was! Intoxication is not an excuse to sexually assault someone and that is essentially what happened here, not even taking into consideration the thought that he could have had a serious disease (HIV) or some kind of genetic disorder.
Then of course, I'm disappointed because she moves away so we don't even get to have the alternative family unit story line, and Wally is straight so there goes my anti-heteronormal idea as well.
In truth, the only saving grace of this movie is Sebastian. That kid is so great. Those big brown eyes looking all forlorn and conflicted were just perfect for the role (as long as you can look past the genetic impossibility of two blue eyed parents parenting a brown eyed kid), his little sighs and pouts were perfect, I can't imagine a better fit for the role of the kid. I really hope to see him in more movies.
Jennifer Aniston on the other hand seemed strained. She is very good at smiling and looking lovingly into someone's eyes and very good at playing that goofy/happy/a little bit hair-brained type of woman but I feel like she struggled with the more difficult scenes in the film, like the scene when Wally finally reveals what he did. She just kind of stands there looking confused and then slaps him, the slap was good, the facial expressions not so much.
Jason Bateman was a good pick for the male lead and I do quite like his range and timing, I thought he had very good chemistry with the kid, but ultimately I didn't really care about his character at all which isn't a comment on his acting but on the script and direction.
The one thing I did really like was the scene when the kid explains about the picture frames. I thought that was a great scene and in another movie could have been something really excellent. It's a shame it was used in this boring, insulting, piece of junk.
I've given the movie 3 stars. Two for the kid, and one for Goldblum who I have always really liked.
If the Hollywood studios still made the type of urban comedies they
made back in the early 1970's starring George Segal (usually) as a
neurotic nebbish, then Jason Bateman's big-screen career would
certainly be secure. As he displayed consistently on "Arrested
Development", the actor's dry delivery and slyly observant manner are a
perfect match for Wally Mars, the comically cynical equities analyst he
plays in this sadly overlooked 2010 romantic comedy co-directed by Will
Speck and Josh Gordon (who much to my surprise, helmed the Will Ferrell
figure-skating comedy, "Blades of Glory"). Although he is the true
protagonist of the story, the movie was marketed as a Jennifer Aniston
vehicle. She plays rising TV producer Kassie Larson, his long-ago
girlfriend who has relegated him to the "friend zone" even though he
obviously hasn't gotten over her.
Written with verve by Allen Loeb (who also co-wrote Aniston's recent 2011 movie, the Adam Sandler starrer, "Just Go With It"), the story revolves around Kassie's ticking biological clock. In a seven-years-back flashback, she is seen deliberately bypassing Wally as a possible sperm donor in favor of a more predictable candidate, Roland, a struggling associate professor at Columbia, who happens to be married and drop-dead handsome. At an "insemination" party, Wally gets wasted and drops the carelessly placed vial of Roland's semen down the bathroom sink. This leaves Wally no choice but to replace the sample himself. Kassie eventually becomes pregnant and moves back home to Minnesota. Flash forward to the present, and Kassie returns to Manhattan with her six-year-old son Sebastian in tow. The fact that Sebastian acts like a miniature version of Wally gets completely past Kassie but not Wally who slowly realizes that out of his stupor years ago, his son was conceived.
Although this indiscretion would seem like the perfect excuse for Wally to reveal his true feelings for Kassie, complications ensue when she starts a relationship with Roland, now desperately on the rebound from a bitter divorce. At the same time, Wally forms a close bond with Sebastian who naturally gravitates toward him because of their mutual idiosyncrasies. Bateman handles Wally's evolution from self-absorbed fatalist to paternal protector with aplomb and surprising depth. Aniston is better served here than in most of her standard-issue romantic comedies, and the sharp interplay between these two actors, especially in the beginning scenes, is refreshingly rapid-fire like a modern-day "His Girl Friday". With his constantly forlorn expression interrupted by moments of genuine happiness, Thomas Robinson is terrifically understated as Sebastian, and his unforced scenes with Bateman represent the true high points of the film.
A crack supporting cast has been assembled. As Wally's best friend and manager, the sarcastic ladies' man Leonard, Jeff Goldblum takes a predictable role and gives it his special, off-kilter twist. The result is his funniest turn in years, for example, his use of the term "ill-advised" during the moment of revelation is hilariously unexpected. The same can also be said for Juliette Lewis, who plays Kassie's constantly inappropriate best friend Debbie with her spacey delivery intact as she slings clever putdowns at Wally. Even Patrick Wilson, saddled with the no-win role of the golden boy Roland, who has no capacity for honest introspection, is funny in a role that gets diabolically transparent as the proceedings get complicated. The 2011 DVD/Blu-Ray offers a standard set of extras - a fifteen-minute making-of featurette ("The Switch Conceived"); about ten deleted and alternate scenes running for nearly half an hour in total, one a more purposeful variation on the central scene; and a brief blooper reel. Give it a try.
THE SWITCH is another story about artificial insemination and the
impact it has on the participants. Yes, it has been done many times
with varying results, but what makes this version of the story
different and worthy of merit and attention is the sparkling screenplay
by Allan Loeb adapted from the short story 'Baster' by gifted author
Jeffrey Eugenides ('Middlesex', 'The Virgin Suicides', 'My Mistress's
Sparrow is Dead', and short stories 'The Speed of Sperm', 'Air Mail',
'Ancient Myths', etc). It is a film that gives us the opportunity to
remember the fine comic time of Jeff Goldblum, Jennifer Aniston, Jason
Bateman, and Juliet Lewis, courtesy of the fine direction by Josh
Gordon and Will Speck..
Wally Mars (Jason Bateman) is an oddly neurotic character who has a very difficult time connecting to people, especially in the dating department. His best friend is Kassie Larson (Jennifer Aniston) a successful woman who abruptly decides her biologic clock is ticking down and decides to have a baby by paying a sperm donor. Wally is shocked, but Kassie's other best friend Debbie (Juliette Lewis, bubbling brilliantly) supports her conviction to take charge of her life and plans a party to celebrate Kassie's incipient 'donation'. Kassie selects a potential donor in Roland (Patrick Wilson) who is a square and married teacher but 'needs the money'. At the party when the 'donation' is to be deposited, Wally gets drunk and accidentally spills Roland's 'contribution', and in drunken desperation replaces it with his own - a secret he doesn't even share with Leonard (Jeff Goldblum) with whom he works and has a strong friendship. The inseminated Kassie moves back home, returning seven years later with her six-year old son Sebastian (Thomas Robinson, a very fine child actor). Kassie courts the now divorced Roland, a blow to Wally who in his 'babysitting' chores grows close to Sebastian who is very much like Wally. How the story ends is predictable but heartwarmingly humorous, especially watching the relationship between Wally and Sebastian develop.
In addition to the strong cast of leading actors there are cameos by Kelli Barrett and especially the significantly impressive Scott Elrod (watch this young actor's career blossom!). Largely due to the smart dialogue delivered by specialists in comedy, this film works well.
To those of you who disliked this movie or "thought it sucked" - as do you...it was a typical romantic comedy..they're meant to be cheesy...i laughed, i cried...honestly i have to say i liked it a lot...almost a love..have an open mind people..you can only do the same movie so many times before people get sick of it...this was NOT one of those same ol' romantic comedies...jen aniston was perfect as was bateman...gotta love the kid hes too cute for words...all of them were perfect for the role they played, the boy especially..thomas robinson may be one of the cutest and most well spoken child actors i have ever seen in a movie or on TV in my life...
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