Who's In It: Jennifer Aniston, Jason Bateman, Juliette Lewis, Patrick Wilson, Jeff Goldblum, Thomas Robinson
The Basics: Seven years after drunkenly swapping his single mom-to-be BFF's donor sperm with his own seed and blocking out all memory of the act, neurotic Manhattanite Wally Mars (Jason Bateman) realizes the resulting neurotic kid (Thomas Robinson) is his own flesh and blood. Therein lies the rub, so to speak, and Wally spends the next eternity (OK, it's about an hour in movie-going time) waffling between telling Kassie (Jennifer Aniston) the truth and keeping his safe, lonely, emotionally crippled man-boy existence intact. Eventually exactly what you know will happen happens, and nothing bad ever happens again. Oh, and throughout it all Jennifer Aniston has incredibly good hair. The end.
What's The Deal: Forgive my brusqueness, ye lovers of "unconventional" romantic comedies, but what the filmmakers behind The Switch are selling you is EXACTLY what's boring and blah and predictable about most rom-coms these days. Yes, this is a romantic comedy about a guy instead of a girl, only in lieu of the usual female protagonist yapping about her issues with supportive/quirky lady friends, we get a male protagonist yapping about his issues with the supportive/quirky Jeff Goldblum. What makes it feel even more tedious is that it takes F-O-R-E-V-E-R to get to the end we all saw coming anyway, even if Bateman is deliciously droll when he's allowed to unleash the misanthropy on unsuspecting folks like Patrick Wilson. But really, none of that is quite as problematic as the perverse gender politics at play here in this insemination fantasy about a man hijacking a woman's uterus in a long play to win her heart. And you thought the poster image of Bateman holding a sperm cup up to his face was gross. Don't let the subtext ruin your date night.
What Makes The Tedium Slightly Less Tedious: Sweet scenes between Bateman and his precocious Mini-Me, child actor Thomas Robinson, who in turn demonstrates a remarkable soft-spoken intelligence in his first feature film role. Supporting player and cast MVP Jeff Goldblum, who turns phrases like "unsavory dogs in the cellar" into little nuggets of gold and shows up to throw dull scenes off-kilter. Generally speaking, writer Alan Loeb (Things We Lost in the Fire, 21) peppers his script with enough surprising comic moments to keep things feeling relatively fresh, even if the overall trajectory is predictable.
More On Why The Switch Is A Feminist Nightmare: As a so-called "romantic comedy," it's neither romantic nor funny. For starters, what's so comical about the idea of a guy impregnating a woman without her consent? Considering how the film sets up Kassie as a strong, independent single lady so awesome that Juliette Lewis is her best friend, the premise proceeds to make a joke of her reproductive rights as a woman. Worse, the fantasy promises that if a man does as Bateman does - intentionally, drunkenly, or otherwise - his dream woman will not only forgive him, she'll also fall in love with him casting aside all other romantic rivals, and in the process he will shed all of the emotional roadblocks that were keeping him from living life to the fullest.
Well, It Could Have Been Worse: The film's original title was The Baster.