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The Switch More at IMDbPro »

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4 out of 11 people found the following review useful:

Proof that a terrible plot doesn't automatically make a terrible movie

Author: MBunge from Waterloo, Iowa
23 August 2010

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

This movie is a sweet romantic comedy, but it's not about the romantic love between a man and a woman. It's about the paternal love of a father for his son and when it focuses on that, it's rather pleasant and fairly funny. When it weakly tries to drag itself through standard rom-com clichés, it's an indifferent and uninspired effort.

Wally Mars (Jason Bateman) is one of those dark but funny New York neurotics with all the social graces of a hedgehog. His longtime friend Kassie Larson (Jennifer Aniston) announces at lunch one day that she wants to have a baby and is sick and tired of waiting for find the right guy, so she's going to use artificial insemination. Wally thinks it's a bad idea, largely because he's still harboring faint hopes of he and Kassie eventually ending up together, but she won't be dissuaded. She finds a willing sperm donor (Patrick Wilson) and even throws a party on the night she's to be knocked up. Wally shows up at the party, gets drunk off his ass, accidentally destroys the donated sperm and substitutes his own seed.

Wally, however, was too drunk to remember what he did and Kassie moves back home to Minnesota to raise her son, Sebastian (Thomas Robinson). 7 years later, Kassie and Sebastian move back to New York and back into Wally's life. Sebastian is like a tiny and even more intense version of Wally and the unknowing father and son develop an instant affinity for each other. Kassie also starts to reconsider keeping Wally in the "friend zone", but she also reconnects with the intended sperm donor and starts dating him.

You won't be surprised that the donor is the polar opposite of Wally or that Wally eventually remembers what he did but never finds the right time to tell Kassie until it's the worst possible moment or…well, you won't be surprised by anything in The Switch.

When this film is about the relationship between Wally and Sebastian and, to lesser extents, the relationships between Wally and Kassie and Wally and his boss (Jeff Goldblum), it's quite charming and amusing. There aren't a lot of great jokes but the interactions of the characters are wonderfully awkward and human. Unfortunately, the story these characters are in is kind of pathetic. It never makes any sense why Kassie and Wally aren't together in the first place, it doesn't make any sense why they don't get together as the story goes along and then when they finally do get together, that doesn't make any sense either. The hurried ending to The Switch is essentially Kassie saying "I'm so mad at you, Wally! Oh, wait. I'm not."

What saves the Switch is that these filmmakers seem to understand and accept how lame their plot is and spend surprisingly little effort at disguising it. Or maybe they were oblivious to how nonsensical much of it is. Whatever the reason, they just breeze right through every scene where the characters behave like idiots, saying and doing things normal people would never say or do, and jump right over any gaps in logic or plausibility. And because they don't labor on such things, the viewer doesn't have to pay them much heed either.

For example, the movie never really gives much justification to Kassie and Wally being "just friends" even though they clearly share a connection. But that actually works because making more of an effort would have only emphasized how contrived and artificial their platonic status is. And at every other rom-com cliché that makes you roll your eyes, this movie takes it all as given and moves on, sparing the indulgent viewer a lot of aggravation.

Jason Bateman, Jennifer Aniston and Thomas Robinson all do very good jobs. They create people you enjoy spending time watching. It would have been nice to watch them doing more intelligent things, but you can't have everything in life. The Switch is better than average fare for rom-com fans, but it's nothing anyone needs to rush out and see.

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6 out of 15 people found the following review useful:

Good crew and cast on a watchable movie

Author: tonytu-1 from New York, NY
29 August 2010

Why does Jennifer Anniston keep doing these soft romantic comedies? She is very talented and has proved herself. Why just put out these things?

It is not that the movie is bad. The direction and the story are fine and well done. Jason Batemen is great in his role and so is Anniston.

But the formula and the material keep them from truly shining. Anniston should be tackling more challenging roles. She has the chops. She just needs the right advice.

The movie itself is watchable, but offers no turns from you run of the mill modern day version of a romantic comedy.

One thing about romantic comedies that I wish all people involved would observe. Don't try to be cute. We are a more sophisticated lot than were the people when romantic comedies ruled the screen.

Everyone involved can certainly go for more. The movie looks good and it may be worth watching again on DVD.

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7 out of 17 people found the following review useful:

Jason Bateman really shines in this somewhat amusing flick.

Author: DarkVulcan29 ( from United States
29 August 2010

The story begins with Wally(Jason Bateman) an uptight cynical person, who pretty much never sees the good in anything, and you ask yourself, who would want to be his friend. But surprisingly he does a good friend in Kassie(Jennifer Aniston), one day while having lunch with her, she tells him that gonna get pregnant by getting artificially inseminated. Wally thinks the idea is stupid, but supports her none the less. While at the party for it, he meets the donor(Patrick Wilson), and Wally gets really drunk, so drunk he ends up in the bathroom with the donors sea min, and he accidentally loses it, decides to replace it with his own. Wally wakes up not remembering anything that happened.

Kassie decides to move away, Wally feels lost without her. Seven years later, Kassie moves back and brings her six year old son Sebastion. Wally is glad she is back, but when he meets up with her and when he meets her son, he somehow feels a connection with him. But the question is Is there?

Jennifer Aniston is so bleak in this film, she just doesn't really grab your interest, Julliette Lewis who I think drank too much coffee for this film, is really unwatchable. Jeff Goldblum is alright in his role. Jason Bateman is the only one who really shines in this film, he gets all the good lines, and his scenes with the kid are memorable. The film is alright, but it never really takes off as it should.

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7 out of 17 people found the following review useful:

A more than decent romantic comedy.

Author: Hellmant from United States
21 August 2010

'THE SWITCH': Three and a Half Stars (Out of Five)

The second artificial insemination film I've seen in as many weeks (after 'THE KIDS ARE Alright'). This one has a great premise that turns into a predictable routine comedy but the performances are great and the directing is pretty impressive which results in a very funny and moving film. It's directed by Josh Gordon and Will Speck (who also co-directed 'BLADES OF GLORY' and the Oscar nominated short film 'CULTURE') and written by All Loeb (who also wrote the drama suspense films '21' and the upcoming 'WALLSTREET: MONEY NEVER SLEEPS'). It's based on a short story by Jeffrey Eugenides (who also wrote the novel 'THE VIRGIN SUICIDES').

The film stars Jason Bateman as a neurotic insecure pessimist (or realist as he likes to call it) named Wally who is in love with his best friend Kassie (played by Jennifer Aniston) but is too afraid to tell her. Kassie is approaching 40 and really wants a child and realizes that with age her fertility rate declines. So unwilling to wait for her dream man to come along she decides to take the path of artificial insemination. Wally thinks this is a bad idea and tells her so but still cant confess his feelings for her so at her pregnancy party he gets hammered and 'hijacks' her sperm donation; he switches the sperm donor's (played by Patrick Wilson) sperm with his own. Since he's blacked out he forgets all about it but seven years later when Kassie and her son (played by Thomas Robinson) move back into town, after Kassie moves away before her son is born, Wally starts to notice striking resemblances between the boy and himself. This of course leads to a lot of drama.

After the great premise the movie pretty much writes itself and you can see everything coming but it's still fun to watch, very humorous and touching. I'm a big Jason Bateman fan and enjoy watching almost anything he's in. He's by far the star of the movie, he has almost twice the screen time that Aniston does (even though he's second billed to the bigger star). He has some great relate-able and touching character development and he and supporting player Jeff Goldblum are hilarious. Aniston is good at what little she has to do but her character is underdeveloped. The story focuses much more on Wally. The boy (Robinson) is impressive for a child actor but a lot of that is often due to good directing as well. A good director can get honest emotion and reactions from a child actor that's not too insecure to be themselves. Wilson is good as the antagonist and it's refreshing to see his character not dumb-ed down and actually portrayed as a likable guy. The screenplay does become somewhat clichéd but it's decent and the directing and acting are impressive. It's a romantic comedy that's definitely worth passing your time with.

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8 out of 19 people found the following review useful:

Jennifer Aniston - stop it.

Author: WHYeat from Los Angeles
22 August 2010

Didn't we watch this movie already? Yea. All the way back in April of 2010. Back then it was called The Back-Up Plan. I commend Hollywood's perseverance. Flop after flop, they just don't give up.

The Switch stars Jennifer Aniston and Jason Bateman. Kassie (Aniston) is sick of hoping for the stars to align and for her to meet the right guy, fall in love, get married, and have a family. Wally (Bateman) is her neurotic, cynical BFF who's suppressed his feelings for her for years. There is obviously some chemistry between Wally and Kassie, but neither of them has ever made a move so they've entered "the friend zone". Kassie decides to take matters into her own hands and become a single mother via Roland, a sperm donor. At her insemination party, with the virtue contained in alcohol and the brilliance of those wash their livers with it, Wally replaces Roland's sperm with his own. Of course, having drank so much and masturbating to a picture of Diane Sawyer, Wally can't remember a damn thing. Years down the road, Kassie returns from Minnesota with her son, Sebastian, who's now 5 1/2. Roland re-enters the picture and tries to take his place as Sebastian's supposed father. Meanwhile, Wally begins to see striking similarities between him and Sebastian and he begins to wonder.

The Switch is a huge step up from The Back-Up Plan. The writing is better. The acting is better. And I only slapped my forehead a handful of times. That being said, The Switch isn't spectacular either.

Jennifer Aniston, please as a public service - stop making chick flicks. Just stop it. I know you're filthy rich from Friends and you occasionally get bored, but don't do movies simply because you can. I'm tired of seeing the same Jennifer Aniston over and over. Go do Derailed Part 2 or something. Luckily, Jason Bateman is able to carry the slack, though not without help. The interaction between Wally and Sebastian is the best part of this movie. Their affinity to one another is believable and Sebastian's replication of Wally's neurotic and cynical personality is wonderfully entertaining. Wally on dealing with bullies:

Wally: You know you're going to have to stand up to him eventually.

Sebastian: But I don't want to.

Wally: Then he'll continue to kick your ass.

Unfortunately that doesn't make up for everything this movie lacks - or has, rather. It has all your standard chick flick moments and follows the tried and true formula for disappointing the unfortunate male spectators. The Switch is mediocre and barely passes as entertainment.

Rated Chick

More chick flick reviews for men @

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10 out of 23 people found the following review useful:

Terrific male cast

Author: John DeSando ( from Columbus, Ohio
19 August 2010

The Switch's first thirty minutes remind me of screwball comedies with repartee sharp, fast, and witty: unmarried Kassie (Jennifer Aniston) announces to her best friend, Wally (Jason Bateman), that she is going to arrange for a donor to have a baby. I know—we've been there this year with Back-up Plan and The Kids are All Right, yet there's plenty of room for all kinds of donations.

Bateman is at his under-acting, low key, gentle best responding to Aniston's usually cute bemusement because, as you might have guessed, he loves her but has not the daring to tell her. Then, at the donor party, he gets excited in the bathroom at a picture of Diane Sawyer and switches his sperm for the donor's.

You've seen similar romantic comedy setups where the principals know each other too well or dislike each other so much that they will be enlightened and bond by the end of the film. You know how it all will turn out, so after that smart opening, the film devolves into clichéd expectation fulfillment.

However, scenes between Wally and six-year old Sebastian (Thomas Robinson), his son by the switch but a secret to mother and son for much of the film, are well-acted given the appropriate level of dialogue, their mutual respect, and the film's unwillingness to exploit Robinson's cuteness to elicit favorable reviews. But after all, like his dad, Sebastian's a pessimist with eccentric and sometimes macabre tastes, not always exploitable characteristics. In any case, these two actors are as good as one could expect to show a loving relationship between two eccentrics who don't know for some time they are related.

Saving the film from my impending "C" grade are Jeff Goldblum as Leonard, Wally's best male friend; the cute Thomas Robinson as Sebastian, Kassie's son; and manic Juliette Lewis as Debbie, Kassie's best girl friend. With weak competition like Bow Wow in Lottery Ticket, Aniston manages to be in a film just a bit above my average. Too bad because that opening is worth seeing just for itself.

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1 out of 6 people found the following review useful:

Fairly unlikely, but Bateman pleases

Author: Neil Welch from United Kingdom
8 September 2010

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Neurotic Wally (Jason Bateman) loves Kassie (Jennifer Aniston) but has never had the courage to tell her so - as far as she's concerned he is simply her best friend. Conscious that her body clock is ticking away, she determines to get pregnant via selected sperm donor Roland (Patrick Wilson). Wally accidentally pours away Roland's sperm, substitutes his own, but is too drunk to remember doing so. Kassie moves away, but moves back some years later at which point Wally realises that young son Sebastian shares so many of his traits that he must be the father. But can he summon up the courage to tell Kassie, especially as she seems to be getting closer to impossibly wonderful Roland?

The strong point here is Jason Bateman's sympathetic performance as the flawed but warm Wally. While it is no more than a mild variation on Bateman's trademark amiable everyman, it strongly anchors the movie. Aniston, as usual doesn't stick a toe outside her safety zone (I wish she would - I suspect she's capable of it). Wilson does well by making an essentially unsympathetic character likable, Juliette Lewis gives us a best girl friend who is meant to be quirky but is actually odious, and Jeff Goldblum's Leonard is a wise and witty boss. And young Thomas Robinson is promising as Sebastian.

But do people really throw Getting Pregnant parties to which the sperm donor (and his wife) are invited, and at which the sperm in question is actually to be generated? I felt there was a great deal of implausible artificiality involved in creating the main situation.

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1 out of 6 people found the following review useful:

Using a Turkey baster to have a child?

Author: josemedeirosforsenate13 from United States
3 September 2010

I found this movie to be very interesting in concept, The interesting thing is that, Back in 1987 or so, the San Jose Mercury News did a story on a Lesbian couple that went to a bar and picked up on a man, brought him back home, then took his used condom and impregnated them selves with a Turkey baster, with out his knowledge. Now 20 years later, should they be entitled to back child support?

The social question here is, should the biological father have a right to know he has a child, and also be involved in his own child live possibly with joint custody or at the least partial custody, in my opinion, I think he should. Since Jason Bateman was only a sperm donor, he gave up those rights in this movie but if he had not, should he have to pay back child support for a child that he never knew he had 20 years later, if his sperm was taken with out his permission? Our laws seem to only protect single mothers with no disregard for a single father who may not have had the financial means that the mother may have had, and our laws do not require that a mother tell the father if he has a child. Mothers may do this to avoid the father seeking joint custody and or child support, or have a say on how his child may be raised, however should the father have had the financial means to support the child, I am sure the mother would be the first to file a paternity suit. Sounds like a double standard.

On another note, is Hollywood trying to produce to many Jennifer Aniston films in one year, a seasoned actress, I just did not see her best in this film, and know that she could have done a much better job acting, it seems as if the director rushed through the takes to meet his or her budget.

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2 out of 8 people found the following review useful:

Nothing Artificial About This Hilarious Artificial Insemination Comedy

Author: zardoz-13 from United States
12 September 2010

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Although the Jennifer Aniston & Jason Bateman romantic comedy "The Switch" didn't beat the earlier Jennifer Lopez sperm bank comedy "The Back Up Plan" to the big-screen, co-directors Josh Gordon and Will Speck have produced a much more satisfying yarn about a single, fortysomething female's desire for artificial insemination. "The Back-Up Plan" relied on the comic predicament Lopez found herself in after she ran into Mr. Right the same day that her doctor inseminated her. The complications that arose between the Lopez character and her new boyfriend over her test tube pregnancy provided the grist of the plot. Naturally, the boyfriend found himself in an identity crisis because her pregnancy reversed the typical chronology of a couple and he got cold feet. Predictably, Lopez and her boyfriend dealt with this complication in the usual fashion of the guy meets gal, guy loses gal, and guy wins back gal formula. In the long run, everything turned out perfectly for them.

Ostensibly based on Pulitzer-prize winning novelist Jeffrey Eugenides' 1996 short story "The Baster," "The Switch" tweaks "The Back-Up Plan" premise. Aniston and Bateman play long-time best friends when our heroine hears her biological alarm clock ringing and opts for artificial insemination since she hasn't found Mr. Right. She solicits help from best friend Bateman to find the most suitable sperm donor. Predictably jealous, the Bateman character takes matters into his own hands and complications galore occur. Unlike "The Back-Up Plan," "The Switch" qualifies as a far funnier romantic comedy with richer situations, more interesting characters, and splendid performances. Aniston and Bateman forge chemistry together as a friendly couple who don't realize they are right for each other. Patrick Wilson, Jeff Goldblum, and Juliette Lewis provide solid support. The best acting in "The Switch," however, comes from the most crucial character in Allen Loeb's screenplay. Newcomer Thomas Robinson delivers a surprising performance as Aniston's on-screen preschooler. Not only is Robinson an adorable child , but he is also an accomplished thespian whose only previous credit was an episode of the canceled NBC-TV sci-fi series "Heroes."

Aristotle wrote in "Poetics" that character is the essential ingredient that drives the best comedy and drama. Co-helmers Josh Gordon and Will Speck and "Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps" scenarist Allan Loeb follow this dictum, and "The Switch" emerges as not only hilarious but also endearing. The action unfolds in New York City seven years ago as a biologically-challenged single woman, Kassie Larson (Jennifer Aniston of "Marley and Me"), takes the fateful step of having herself artificially inseminates before she becomes too old for children. She finds the perfect donor in a good-looking university professor, Roland (Patrick Wilson of "Watchmen"), who teaches feminist literature. Initially, Kassie receives no support from Wall Street stockbroker Wally Mars (Jason Bateman of "Juno") who is a hopeless hypochondriac. Kassie accuses Wally of being pessimistic, but he claims he is just being realistic. Anyway, Kassie has her baby, christens him Sebastian, and moves away for six years. Wally's life remains unchanged until she returns. Since she has uprooted herself to raise her son in more friendly surroundings, Roland has divorced his adulterous wife. Kassie and he start dating. The complication is that six-year old Sebastian (Thomas Robinson) hates Roland. Ironically, Sebastian prefers the company of Wally, and the two become virtually inseparable.

One day while Wally and Sebastian are riding a bus, another passenger remarks that they look like father and son. Wally informs her that Sebastian isn't his son. Nevertheless, Sebastian treats Wally as if he were his dad. Several occasions occur when Sebastian needs help, and he resorts to Wally. At one point, Sebastian leaves a friend's birthday party after a brawl with a bully and goes out of his way to walk 20 blocks to Wally's apartment. Later, Kassie leaves Sebastian with one of his friends so she can spend a romantic weekend with Roland. As it turns out, Sebastian has contracted head lice and his friend's mom wants him gone. Stuck far away in Michigan, Kassie implores her old friend Wally to treat Sebastian's lice infection until she can return on an overnight flight. The bond between Wally and Sebastian deepens until Wally wonders if he really is Sebastian's father.

Wally searches his memory about the night of Kassie's sperm donor party and remembers that Kassie's perennial best girlfriend, Debbie (Juliette Lewis of "Whip It"), gave him some of her mom's prescription medicine and he got drunk and stumbled into the bathroom where Roland had left his container of sperm. Accidentally, Wally spills Roland's sperm into the sink and decides to replace it. Nothing but feminine magazines are available, and he whips up his own concoction to a picture of TV news anchor Diana Sawyer and replaces Roland's sperm with it. Such is Wally's state of mind that he forgets what he has done until he notices that Sebastian imitates his personality in every aspect. Wally discusses the issue with his close friend and Wall Street colleague Leonard (Jeff Goldblum of "Silverado") and decides to let Kassie in on his secret. Every opportunity that Wally has to deliver this major revelation falls through until our misguided hero attends a get-together at Kassie's apartment where Roland plans to propose marriage to Kassie in front of his older brothers and parents. Imagine the reaction that Kassie has when Wally turns her world upside down with his revelation.

"The Switch" is a consistently funny comedy that doesn't rely on a laugh track or a lowest-common denominator script to make us laugh. Everybody, including newcomer Thomas Robinson, doesn't act as if they were consciously trying to be funny and their fully developed but eccentric characters are a wonder to behold. Typically, a movie with two directors is a surefire recipe for disaster, but neither Gordon nor Speck get in each other's way, and "The Switch" flows smoothly throughout its 101 minutes without convolution.

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2 out of 8 people found the following review useful:

Jennifer Aniston's best acting work in a movie where she was a high profile actor.

Author: bbaldar from United States
26 August 2010

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I hate to say it, I really do. And to be honest, I hope that Jennifer Aniston doesn't hate me for saying it, but this has to be, without question, the best piece of acting Jennifer Aniston has ever done "in a movie." The Switch, I would have to say is rated second-all-time among movies that are identifiable by a viewing audience as having Jennifer Aniston in them. 'Rumor Has It' was her top movie, according to me. There was a shift for her person in films. She came out as this violent, I can take care of myself person, and I'm not afraid to walk all over good people to get what I want. If you ask me, it was about time! It's obvious that she wasn't fooling anyone in any of her other films playing some jilted lover that was getting a raw deal, whose not a whore, she's just unlucky. No! In like every other film, except Leprechaun I think, her fourth best movie, she's definitely a whore! It's her whiny nature that makes you think, "maybe she's not a whore, just bad things happen to her, and she's unlucky." No! She's a whore. Not only that, she's the worst kind of whore, she's the kind of whore that wants you to feel sorry for her! The Switch was almost better than all of those movies, but ultimately it failed to completely free her from the bonds of this obvious typecast. I hate to say it, but if the Oscar people are ever going to give Jennifer an Oscar for Best Leading Actress, then this would be the time, she has peaked. Unfortunately, she is not going to get better, and even though she may not deserve to win an Oscar, like so many other winners, I think she has officially put in the time, and I am officially rooting for her, because I am usually officially disgusted with the results. At least with picking her, I can draw from over twenty years of viewing entertainment, and say yes, what the hell, someone has to win an acting award every year, might as well be Jennifer Aniston!

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