By: Lauren Cohen, The Campus Movie Guru (University of Miami)
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The Switch makes a surprisingly large amount of references towards semen for a romantic comedy. So if you’re expecting a raunchy laugh-fest, let me just say this right off the bat: you won’t be getting one. However, what you will be getting is a at-times funny, at-times touching, and a most-of-the-time formula, romantic comedy to end the summer with.
Any faults the movie might have aside, you can’t say that the premise isn’t intriguing: Determined to have a baby on her own, Kassie (Jennifer Aniston), goes on the search to find a donor, despite protests by her best friend Wally (Jason Bateman) that it’s not a good idea. Once she finds her perfect donor, Kassie throws a “I’m having a baby!” party, where her chosen donor, classically handsome and accomplished Roland (Patrick Wilson), goes to deposit his specimen which Kassie will use later that night (privately, of course) to impregnate herself. When an extremely drunk Wally goes to the bathroom and accidentally knocks over said specimen, he makes a split second decision and fills it up with his own…”ingredient”…instead. After getting pregnant Kassie decides to move back home to Minnesota. Cut to seven years later: Kassie moves back to New York with her son Sebastien (Bryce Robinson)…and Wally, who blacked out the night of “the switch” and doesn’t remember what he did, is in for quite the surprise.
What really stands out about this film is not the comedy, and its certainly not the romance…but is how much heart the movie has. It might be labeled a “romantic comedy”, but the relationship that’s the most sweet, the most touching, is the one between Wally and Sebastien, not Wally and Kassie. Wally is neurotic and a total hypochondriac, and these qualities are mirrored in his little offspring. Bryce Robinson is just adorable; with those big eyes and pouty expression, you can’t help but want to pinch his cute little cheeks. And with his constant tendency to self-diagnosis himself (“I think I have Cyclothymic disorder!”), he is also the comedic backbone of the film, especially when paired with Jason Bateman on screen. You’ll probably hear this movie referred to as “Jennifer Aniston’s new movie”, but make no mistake, this is Bateman’s movie all the way. He makes Wally out to be an incredibly lovable (albeit somewhat spazzy) guy, and he plays him so genuinely that I feel like I could meet Wally somewhere in real life. On the flip side, Aniston is pretty much just a prop that’s essential to the story but unfortunately adds nothing to the film. Just like the useless love triangle between Kassie, Wally and Roland is present for the sole purpose of creating conflict, but probably takes more away from the film than it contributes.
With movies such as this one, an anomaly often occurs by the end. After sitting through an overall decent, yet average movie, a film can end all wrapped up with a heartwarming ribbon and some happy tears, and people will leave the theater saying “what a wonderful movie!” completely overlooking the the film as a whole. The Switch is no exception to this. It didn’t have the best pacing, and wasn’t especially funny, yet most girls will probably still leave the theater dazzled and thinking to themselves “aww, what a wonderful movie!”