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The Switch

The Switch

What she said:

She

Ahhh…remember the good ‘ole days when Jennifer Aniston did good movies like Office Space or The Good Girl.  Now she’s kind of a rom-com joke.  I get the sense that The Switch was her attempt to gain back some street cred.  Honestly, I don’t understand what plagues her.  She really does have great and believable delivery.  In other words, she’s not a bad actress. She just picks duds of movies.

Anyway, about this one.  It’s, well, ok.  Aniston and Jason Bateman are charming.  But the storyline is…blah.  I kind of get the sense that the movie wants to feel fulfilling and be memorable, but it falls victim to a script that is at its core overly predictable.  It also seems torn between being a quirky comedy and an emotional drama.  Perhaps it’s a dramedy?  I couldn’t really tell. 

So basic storyline is this: Bateman is Wally, an obsessive compulsive, neurotic loner who somehow lucked into a best friendship with Kassie, a more free-spirited babe played by Aniston.  They’re pretty different people, which makes me wonder why they’re even friends, but whatever.  So, Kassie has a bad trip to the gyno and realizes that her biological clock is ticking.  She decides to get a “donor” and become a single mom.  She lines up this really great guy, Roland, to do the honor.  But, as the title of the movie suggests, there is a switch, and, alas, Wally ends up being the father of Kassie’s child.  None of them realize at first.  Kassie movies away, but returns to New York City with son in tow 7 years later.  Cue romance, emotional diarrhea, and all that stuff that makes a chick flick.  I think there’s some family values in there somewhere and some sort of positive messaging. 

Anyway, it’s not all that bad.  But it’s also a bit much.  Bateman’s neurotic character is sometimes unlikable, which makes it difficult to root for him.  Jeff Goldblum does an overacting impression of himself as Wally’s friend Leonard.  And Juliette Lewis’s awesome talent seems a bit wasted.  The movie certainly is long enough, but I guess I was wishing for a little more.  One caveat is that the kind that plays the son, Sebastian, is quite cute. 

Diagnosis: Thumbs half up.

What he said:

He

Jennifer Aniston’s career has been the butt of many jokes. A number of her movies have been met with a great deal of criticism and a lack of financial success. The funny thing is, if you look at the resume of just about every other one of her former Friends cast members, most of them have had an even harder time trying to be successful on the big screen.

You don’t believe me? I’ve got one word for you: Ed. I challenge you to find something on her resume that bad. The really sad part is Matt LeBlanc thought that was a good idea while he was at the peak of his popularity during Friends run.

Matthew Perry has been on two canceled TV shows in the last five years. I am also willing to be bet you can barely name any of the movies he’s been in, let alone whether you like them or not

Oh and David Schwimmer, does he even act anymore?

My point being that not only do I find her to be a decent actress, but that she’s had a hell of a lot more success than her former costars. I think bashing her career is simply a cliché at this point. People do it because others in the past have done it. As an actress, I have always found her to be fine. I even like some of her movies; Marley & Me, Love Happens, Bruce Almighty, and Office Space to name a few. Unfortunately this wasn’t one of them.

The Switch is about Kassie (Aniston) and Wally (Jason Bateman). They are best friends who toyed with dating in the past, but it never worked all that well because Wally is a little eccentric. Despite that, the two have remained best friends over the years.

As Kassie begins to hear her biological clock ticking, the desire to become a mother becomes stronger despite not even having so much as a steady boyfriend. So she opts for artificial insemination. She seeks out a donor, but in a drunken stooper Wally accidentally spills the super stud sperm (courtesy of Patrick Wilson), so does what any friend would do; replaces it with his own.

Kassie decides she wants to raise her child in a more kid-friendly environment, so she moves back to her hometown. She eventually returns to New York, connects with Wally, and – the now divorced – sperm donor Roland. I’m sure I don’t have to tell you, but what follows is a quirky, very predictable, love triangle.

I don’t mind predictable if it keeps me entertained. This simply did not. Aside from a few laughs (and I do mean just a few), this movie didn’t do much for me at all.The only part of it I actually enjoyed was the performance of the kid who plays Sebastian. The believability, in which he played Wally’s quirky kid, was spot on. He did socially awkward, but endearing, very well. I hope to see him in some better movies in the future.

Diagnosis: Thumbs down.

This movie review was given the He said, She said seal of approval on June 6, 2011.