Thomas Robinson and Jason Bateman in The SwitchWe’ve entered an age where women who want biological children do not have to wait to find Mr. Right; she can utilize a sperm donor, as some celebrities and recent movie characters (see The Back-up Plan) have selected. The Switch centres on a mishap that “could” occur when choosing this option.

Kassie (Jennifer Aniston) is a smart, single woman who decides it’s time to have a baby – even if it means doing it by herself. She goes forward with her decision despite the objections of her neurotic best friend Wally (Jason Bateman) and with the help of a charming sperm donor (Patrick Wilson). But, unbeknownst to her, Kassie’s plans go awry because of a last-minute switch that isn’t discovered until seven years later when Wally finally gets acquainted with Kassie’s cute – though slightly neurotic – son, Sebastian (Thomas Robinson).

Despite the comedic fortitude of Aniston and Bateman, it is Robinson that steals most scenes. He nails every moment, whether he’s supposed to be confused, scared, neurotic or just plain happy. In addition, his ability to mimic Bateman is excellent. Aniston and Bateman really do look like they click in their scenes together, whether chatting over dinner or having a quiet conversation in the dark – but as friends. Conversely, their antagonistic moments – which are when the passion should come in – feel flat and lacking heart.

The comedy aspect is not neglected as there are numerous funny moments and lines, though not as many as one would have hoped and a few too many that are predictable. Sadly, Jeff Goldblum feels under-used and Juliette Lewis’ catty attitude tends to play more mean than humorous. Furthermore, the story slows quite a bit, only to be repeatedly revived by the next laugh or cute kid moment.

Bateman’s character uses the phrase “hijacked her pregnancy” to summarize the situation, which is clever and accurate, but also appears to be an attempt to lighten the severity of his actions. Wally’s ego was obviously wounded when Kassie rejected his participation in her decision, but if viewed as an act of revenge rather than stupidity, this film takes a very dark turn. This is not to say Wally doesn’t feel horrible for what he’s done, but almost giving the incident a nickname feels somewhat inappropriate – as did the “insemination party.” It’s interesting to watch this very intimate choice turned into a public, then sabotaged event, only to have a happy ending as prescribed by the romantic comedy formula.


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