The Flick Chicks

Judy Thorburn's Movie Reviews

The Switch

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Chick-O-Meter-yellow-smChick-O-Meter-yellow-smChick-O-Meter-yellow-smChick-O-Meter-grey-smChick-O-Meter-grey-sm Judy Thorburn

Las Vegas Round The Clock -
Women's Film Critic Circle -
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The Switch


I don't care if some people call me old fashioned and not keeping up with the times if I don't agree with young women who choose to have a baby out of wedlock without a partner or husband. I have a problem with that scenario in movies, which is why I disliked Juno.

The Switch is the second film this year after the release of The Back Up Plan (starring Jennifer Lopez) that appears to condone the idea of a single pregnant female character as if it is a good option for the “modern, independent” woman. It sends the wrong message to impressionable young moviegoers. Whether or not the movie reflects what is going on in today's society doesn't mean it is the right thing to do. That said, my review of the film is based on other criteria.

The Switch (originally titled The Baster) is a romantic comedy starring Jennifer Anniston and Jason Bateman (who has built a career as a superb comic actor in supporting roles) in his first leading man role in a feature film. Wally (Jason) and Kassie (Jennifer) have been best friends for years although they started out as boyfriend and girlfriend. With her biological clock ticking away and not having found the man of her dreams, Kassie decides to have a baby through artificial insemination (in this case, a “turkey baster”) with the help of a handsome “donor” named Roland (Patrick Wilson) willing to donate some “specimen”.

The film's title comes into play during a party to celebrate Kassie getting pregnant. A depressed and drunken Wally, who has been secretly carrying a torch for his galpal, winds up in the bathroom. The plot kicks into gear when he accidentally drops the specimen down the drain and he decides to replace it with his own, using a magazine cover photo of Diane Sawyer as (let me put it delicately) inspiration to get the job done.

Fast forward seven years. After leaving town to raise her son, Sabastian, in Minnesota, Kassie returns to the Big Apple with the boy, and reconnects with Wally who has no memory of the switch. During some one on one babysitting time spent with Sabastian (Thomas Robinson, in his first screen role) in which they develop a bond, Wally discovers something strange. It appears that he and the child have several similarities and characteristics in common such as making the same 'moaning” sounds when they eat and are both neurotic. After watching Diane Sawyer on TV, repressed memories begin to surface and Wally realizes that the kid is definitely his. Of course, now he has to figure out if, how and when he can tell Kassie, especially after finding out that she is dating the newly divorced Roland.

The Switch is very predictable and follows the typical formula to a T. We know exactly where the story is going, how it will be played out, and how it will end. There is nothing new or surprising here, though I did enjoy the clever, well written dialogue and there are some funny moments.

What holds it all together is Bateman who outshines his leading lady. Jennifer's portrayal of Kassie

is one dimensional and although she goes through the motions I didn't feel the deep love connection she was supposed to have with her son. Bateman, on the other hand, is a talented, likable actor that makes everything he does and says appear natural. His scenes with Robinson, the adorable child actor, come across as charming and genuine and they have amazing chemistry.

Jeff Goldblum lends support as Leonard, Wally's quirky boss/friend and advisor, and Juliette Lewis, whose acting career has been put on hold due to touring as front woman of her rock band, plays Debbie, Kassie's requisite, wisecracking galpal. Nevertheless, I still hold strong with my opinion on movies that promote single motherhood. That not withstanding, I am a sucker when it comes to a charming guy and an adorable kid. Both are irresistible, even if the storyline isn't.

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