Reviewed by Jami Ferguson
Film (3 out of 5 stars)
Jennifer Aniston plays Kassie, a successful and beautiful woman who wants to have a baby. Jason Bateman plays her best friend Wally. When Kassie decides to get pregnant, Wally is the first person she tells. Wally’s reaction isn’t what Kassie had hoped and Wally wonders why she never thought of him as a possible donor. Wally is a neurotic hypochondriac who emails people pictures of odd growths on his body and he just isn't the kind of guy Kassie dreamed would be the father of her child.
She searches for a sperm donor on her own and decides that a man named Roland (Patrick Wilson) is the donor she wants. The next step is a “I’m getting pregnant party” thrown by her friend Debbie (Juliette Lewis) where the insemination will happen. Under the influence of an unknown and supposedly herbal pill, Wally makes some bad decisions. Playing with the donation cup, Wally accidentally empties it. So what else could a guy do in that situation except fill up the cup again? The next day thanks to the pill and alcohol, Wally doesn’t even remember what he has done and life moves on. Kassie gets pregnant and moves out of the city and is rarely heard from.
Fast forward seven years and Kassie and her six year old son Sebastian have moved back into town. Sebastian has developed into an odd, oversensitive, and very quirky little kid who is the spitting image of Wally. He worries about Bully’s at school and whether or not he is developing Parkinson’s disease. Meanwhile, the original donor Roland is now newly single since his wife cheated on him so Kassie reconnects with him and they begin dating. Roland thinks that young Sebastian looks a lot like him and tried to win him over but has little success bonding with Sebastian. Wally however, has no problem connecting with Sebastian and the two get along great. It takes a while for Wally to realize that he is Sebastian’s father but when he does, he decides to do the right thing and tell Kassie that he “hijacked her pregnancy.”
The movie has a great cast including Jeff Goldblum who plays Wally’s friend and advisor. The Switch follows standard chick-flick protocol where the two destined people aren’t ready at the right time. When Kassie wants Wally he isn’t interested. By the time Wally discovers he wants Kassie, she is already moving forward with Roland and for awhile everyone is miserable. Roland is clearly not the man for Kassie and biologically or otherwise not the father Sebastian needs. The movie is fairly predictable, but it’s still satisfying to watch them all figure it out in the end. What’s different about The Switch is that the story is mostly from Wally’s point of view.
Video (4 out of 5 stars)
Presented in 16×9 wide-screen 2.35:1, The Switch is a colorful film with nice amount of detail offered. Flesh tones are a little muted but consistent for the most part. Black levels are solid and it has excellent contrast. Interior and exterior shots of the city are vibrant and it’s easy to be immersed in the film.
Audio (3 out of 5 stars)
The Switch is presented in DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1. Dialogue is clear and at an even level. I am always appreciative when I do not have to pick up the remote to turn the volume up or down during the film. Despite bring a dialogue driven film, it has a nice immersive soundtrack that adds a lot of ambiance to the movie. English, Spanish and Spanish subtitles are included. The instrumental soundtrack does a lot to enhance the film.
Special Features (3 out of 5 stars)
I’m always happy to see bloopers listed in the special features. I don’t understand why all Blu Rays don’t have them. I've never made a movie but I would guess that every film has messed up lines from one or all the actors.
- The Switch Conceived – A behind the scenes featurette. Here we learn that this is based on a short story called The Baster which also happened to be the original title of this movie.
- Deleted Scenes and Alternate Ending – A significant list of deleted scenes and an alternate ending. In this case, the original ending was shot without all the characters present. I prefer the birthday party ending that made it in the film.
- Bloopers – Mistakes and ad-libs by the actors. Jason Bateman seems fun to work with.
- Also from Lionsgate – Preview for the new Matthew McConaughey movie The Lincoln Lawyer. It’s funny that Matthew McConaughey seems to be in every other chick flick but this one, and yet he still somehow made his way into the special features.
Final Thoughts (3 out of 5 stars)
For a movie about a sperm switch, The Switch has a lot of complicated details. It’s a little difficult to explain, as a reviewer, but is definitely worth watching. Jason Bateman is funny and more charming than I remembered. Jennifer Aniston is as cute as ever. The young man who played Sebastian did an amazing job as well. Go into this expecting a stereotypical chick flick presented from a unique male-oriented point of view and I think you’ll enjoy it.
Order your copy today!