- Running time:
- 101 minutes
- Jennifer Aniston -
- Kassie Larson
- Jason Bateman -
- Wally Mars
- Thomas Robinson -
- Sebastian Larson
- Patrick Wilson -
- Jeff Goldblum -
Wally (Jason Bateman) doesn’t approve when his best friend Kassie (Jennifer Aniston) decides to get pregnant via artificial insemination. As luck would have it, Wally finds himself alone with Kassie’s “donation” and accidentally destroys it. Feeling guilty, he provides his own “donation” but is so drunk he doesn’t remember in the morning. Kassie moves away and has the baby, only to return to New York six years later and introduce Wally to Sebastian (Thomas Robinson), the son no one yet knows is his. Hilarity, sentimentality and formulaic romance ensue.
The buzz: Directing team Josh Gordon and Will Speck went from GEICO’s Cavemen commercials to the Will Ferrell ice skating farce “Blades of Glory.” Now they’re segueing to a more grounded comedy written by Allan Loeb (“21”) and based on a short story by Jeffrey Eugenides (“The Virgin Suicides”). Although it looks similar to Jennifer Lopez’s artificial insemination flop “The Back-Up Plan” from earlier this year, “The Switch” may have received an unexpected boost from Bill O’Reilly’s complaints that the movie, and Aniston’s involvement, glamorizes single motherhood.
The verdict: Not actually a movie about a woman deciding to have a child on her own, “The Switch” pulls its own switch on audiences and focuses entirely on Wally’s slow journey to responsible fatherhood. That’s great for Bateman, who makes the most of a showcase role that allows him to bounce from funny and sarcastic to emotional and honest. It’s a performance worthy of a much better movie. There’s nothing in “The Switch” that we haven’t already seen in movies as good as “Jerry Maguire” and “About a Boy” or as bad as “The Game Plan” and “Imagine That.” What’s even worse about this film is its total disregard for Kassie as a character and Aniston as a performer. While Wally anchors the story, Kassie just takes up space. Never defined by anything more than her desire for a husband and children, she’s just a vessel to unwittingly bring a kid into Wally’s life. While “The Switch” is marketed as a comedy about a woman taking charge of her life, it offers up a woman whose life apparently isn’t worth exploring until she finds a father for her son. O’Reilly should really check this out before he complains any more. He’d probably like what he sees.
Did you know? If you’d rather see a funnier, smarter, genuinely worthwhile movie involving artificial insemination and unexpected families, there’s actually a solution! “The Kids Are All Right” has developed into one of the year’s biggest indie success stories, and actually respects all of its characters.
Movie theaters and showtimes for The Switch in Louisville.
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