Who's In It: Jennifer Aniston, Jason Bateman, Patrick Wilson, Juliette Lewis, Jeff Goldblum
The Basics: [Note to readers: I don't do this very often but I'm going to spoil everything about this rotten movie right now so if you actually care you should quit reading] This is the story of a happy little cup of semen that's all ready to impregnate Jennifer Aniston. Then along comes drunk Jason Bateman who dumps the now-sad semen into the sink and replaces it with his own baby-making materials, thereby secretly (and--oops!---forgetfully) ruining Jen's right to have a baby that looks like original donor Patrick Wilson. The kid grows up to be as neurotic and nervous and uncool and unblond as Bateman's character but Jen loves the falsified child anyway. And then everyone finds out the truth and there's some yelling and crying. Two minutes later Jen forgives Bateman and kisses him because she always loved him anyway and so it was actually the best luck ever that he accidentally tried to ruin her life. See, ladies? You just let the man handle it and everything will turn out all right.
What's The Deal: There's not enough RU-486 in the world to make this movie stop existing and no such thing as a time machine to bring me back two weeks before it bored me senseless for a hundred minutes, but it will, at least, make someone happy and that someone is Bill O'Reilly. He recently complained about Aniston--of all people, like she wrote and directed the thing--and how, by playing an intentional single mother, she was negatively influencing people of the world to go out and be single parents. Well that blowhard can rest easy because the movie goes way out of its way to let you know that the little test tube baby yearns, yearns, for a real father so intensely that he collects picture frames and keeps the stock photos of smiling families inside them in the hopes of some day being part of a real mommy/daddy/baby trio himself. And then he gets his wish. So there you go. Sorry, The Kids Are All Right, everything you are is wrong.
The Worst Thing Of All: Zero funny moments. Zero. And that's with the traditionally scene-stealing and movie-saving presences of Juliette Lewis and Jeff Goldblum, whose best efforts have been zapped of all energy with whatever anti-humor lasers were wielded by the creative team. It's actually less funny than The Back-Up Plan, which had the adorable presence of a disabled doggie with wheels for legs and the laugh-riot moment of a sex scene set in a candle-lit artisanal goat cheese barn.
The Biggest Victim Of All: Aniston's viability as a comedic actress. People get her wrong. It's not that she's a terrible actor, it's that she's being packaged incorrectly at least 80% of the time. On Friends she was at her funniest when tormented by the other characters. In movies she's at her best when she's sad, pissed off or disgruntled, like in Office Space, Friends with Money or The Good Girl. The darker she goes, the funnier (and weirdly enough, more sympathetic) she becomes. I'm right about this and I'm just going to keep saying it until the tiny portion of my world that Jennifer Aniston inhabits changes to suit me.