I'll admit it, I'm a bit of a Jason Bateman fan. Loved him on Arrested Development, thought he was one the best parts of Juno, hell, I even thought he was funny in Smokin' Aces. So even though I'm no glutton for romantic comedies, I was happy to check out The Switch.
Well, lo and behold, Bateman is one of the best things about The Switch, along with Jennifer Aniston, Juliette Lewis, Patrick Wilson, Jeff Goldblum and especially newcomer Thomas Robinson. In short, it's cast well, and that alone elevates it above being rather forgettable.So what's The Switch about? It seems comedies involving artificial insemination are all the rage this year, considering entries such as The Back-Up Plan and The Kids Are All Right, so I guess it was inevitable we'd have a third. In a nutshell, Wally (Bateman) and Kassie (Aniston) are "best friends", and as all of us guys know, that means he's in love with her, but too much of a wuss to break out of the "friend zone" she's put him in. So when Kassie tells Wally she wants a baby, he's momentarily convinced he's got a shot... until she asks him to help her find a good sperm sample, one that isn't his.
Fast forward to an "insemination party" thrown by Kassie's friend Debbie (Lewis), where Wally meets Kassie's donor, Roland (a hilariously douchey Patrick Wilson). Naturally, Wally hates the whole affair and decides to get as drunk and drugged up as possible, which obviously leads to him swapping Roland's sperm sample for his own. Then he blacks out.
Seven years later, Kassie returns to town, this time with her 6 year-old son Sebastian (Thomas Robinson), who bears an uncanny resemblance, in neuroses at least, to Wally. It's only then when the memories of what happened at the insemination party come flooding back to Wally.
What happens from there on out is rather predictable, as Wally becomes a reluctant father to Sebastian and romance develops with Kassie. But Aniston and Bateman lack the true spark of passion that usually ignites a delightful romantic comedy, with Wally being too much of a Woody Allen clone to be truly lovable. But the comedic aspects somewhat make up for these deficiencies, particularly those scenes involving Wally confessing to Kassie's business partner, Leonard (Jeff Goldblum). If you're a Goldblum fan, you won't be disappointed.
Of course, the road ahead of Wally and Kassie isn't so smooth, but I'll leave it up to you to figure out why. Unfortunately, the threat isn't so serious as it should be, and as a result, we're not sitting on the edge of our seats to figure out how it's going to end. It's more like we're just waiting for the predictable ending to arrive.
Still, when it's all said and done, I have to applaud directors Josh Gordon and Will Speck for delivering a few good laughs on top of what otherwise looked like it could have been a pretty lackluster effort. Although, I guess the same thing applies to their previous comedy, Blades of Glory.
While The Switch isn't quite a date movie and isn't quite a raunchy sex comedy, it's still worth a look if you're looking for a few chuckles, or don't have anything better to do.