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August 24, 2010 > Movie Review: The Switch

Movie Review: The Switch

By Heidi Leung

"The Switch" is a romantic comedy billed as outrageous and unexpected when in actuality, it is closer to predictable, but enjoyable none the less. The problem could lie in the fact that the entire plot is revealed in its trailer, but is saved by the sweet and humorous dialogues and scenarios. From the creators of "Juno" and "Little Miss Sunshine," the film houses a similar sense of humor and hones a gift for spotting young talent.

"The Switch" takes place in New York where Kassie (Jennifer Aniston) almost 40, decides she wants a baby and doesn't need a man to do it. She finds a donor and has an "I'm getting pregnant" party where her neurotic best friend Wally (Jason Bateman), gets so drunk he ends up replacing her chosen sperm sample with his own and actually forgets that he has done this. She then moves away to raise the child and returns seven years later, Wally beginning to experience recall as he notices an alarming amount of similarities between himself and the boy, Sebastian (Thomas Robinson). At the same time, his repressed feelings for Kassie emerge and develop alongside his relationship with his unsuspecting son.

Though the synopsis involves a lot of Kassie, the film is more centered on the relationship between Wally and Sebastian. This is actually preferable as Jennifer Aniston's presence is underwhelming, possibly because the rest of the cast (supporting characters included) are so vibrant. Even with their small roles, Juliette Lewis and Jeff Goldblum are impactful, delivering hilarious performances.

Patrick Wilson, who plays the original sperm donor, gains sympathy from the audience as the optimistic all American man who has absolutely no understanding of anything beyond his own make believe world. Jason Bateman as Wally is perfectly cast as he is able to play off a character that is depressive and sarcastic in loveable way. Thomas Robinson who plays Sebastian is incredible, and this is not being said simply because he's young. His depiction of this pessimistic, clever, and overbearing child is so adorable and intelligent that even the most cynical critic would love him.

Though the film is good overall, the largest flaw is the relationship between Kassie and Wally. For a romantic comedy, it doesn't do a good job of showing the connection between the two characters. In fact, perhaps they should stop labeling it a romantic comedy and possibly go with feel-good family film because that's actually what it's more like, at least after the point of the "I'm getting pregnant" party. Either way, it's worth watching for the Wally and Sebastian moments alone, if not also for Jeff Goldblum's awkwardly humorous jibber-jabber.

Rated PG-13
Runtime: 1hr 40min

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