Plot summary (with possible spoilers): Kassie (played by Jennifer Aniston) is a single woman who is tired of waiting around for the right man to show up. She can feel her biological clock ticking, so she decides to have a baby on her own — via artificial insemination. This catches BFF Wally (Jason Bateman) off guard. He has always had romantic feelings for Kassie, and kind of envisioned her going to him for this kind of thing rather than a random donor. But Kassie thinks that would be too weird, so she does things her way.
The donor, whom Kassie wants to meet and be in contact with, is Roland (Patrick Wilson). Once the arrangements are worked out, Kassie throws an insemination party and invites all her friends — including Wally and Roland’s wife. Wally gets totally annihilated at the party because he realizes this is the end of any chance he has with Cassie. While drunk, he stumbles into the bathroom and discovers Roland’s sample jar sitting there, waiting for the doctor to do his thing. Wally accidentally spills the contents of the jar — and then replenishes it with his own sample. He wakes the next morning not remembering a thing.
Seven years pass. Kassie had moved away to Minnesota to be near her parents when Sebastian was born, but now she’s on her way back to NYC and wants to see Wally again. Wally meets up with her and Sebastian, and is struck by how much the kid looks and acts like him. This continues as Wally spends more and more time with the two. Finally, after consulting with friend Leonard (Jeff Goldblum), Wally figures out what must have happened. He is mortified, but knows he has to tell Kassie the truth, especially because he has developed real feelings for Sebastian.
Unfortunately, Kassie has been dating a recently divorced Roland. This complicates the picture, and every time Wally tries to tell her what happened, something comes up to prevent him (isn’t that ALWAYS what happens in movies?). He finally takes action when he learns that Roland is set to propose to Kassie. At first she is pissed, but she eventually comes around so they can all have that happily-ever-after ending.
- Based on reviews and initial box office returns, I was expecting an absolute train wreck, but I have to say the movie wasn’t that bad. Of course it was highly predictable, but Jason Bateman was likable as the main character, so I wasn’t bothered too much by the predictability.
- There were quite a few laughs along the way. I rarely do anything more than smile at these kinds of films, but this one had some truly funny moments. It’s not a “laff riot” by any stretch of the imagination, but it’s not dull either.
- Whoever played Sebastian was a good little actor. He managed to play his role as overly mature without going into that annoyingly precocious area that I cannot stand in movie kids. Still, I have to wonder how he developed that way with Kassie as a mom. Nurture over nature for most personality traits, right?
- Just once I’d like to see movie/television characters tell each other important information without getting sidetracked a million times and dragging out the inevitable. Seriously, does that EVER happen in real life? If you had something monumental to tell, such as a child’s true paternity, wouldn’t you MAKE SURE that news got out in a timely fashion? God, it bothers me to no end when film characters are so easily put off…
- Kassie and Wally had absolutely zero romantic chemistry. They were good as best friends, but at the final few scenes of them as husband and wife seemed way off.
Are moviegoers automatically disposed to disliking Jennifer Aniston projects now? I wouldn’t blame them, given her track record. But The Switch is definitely better than its minuscule $7.6 million opening weekend take would suggest. It’s not great, but it’s a decent film that’s worth seeing. I give it 3 stars out of 5.