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The Switch


It's got spunk!

Rod Lott March 11th, 2011

If you can rent only one sperm-swapping comedy this year, make it “The Switch.” And if you can rent two, well ... oh, just rent “The Switch” twice.

theswitch

Its setup certainly makes this not your average, ordinary rom-com, even if it did extrordinarily below-average biz at the box office: Nearing middle age and still spouseless, Kassie (Jennifer Aniston) wants a baby, so she decides to be artificially inseminated, but her longtime friend (and one-time flame) Wally (Jason Bateman) can’t bear the thought of her birthing some douche-stranger’s (Patrick Wilson) child, so he drunkenly replaces the intended sample with his own.

And being blackout-drunk, Wally forgets all about it until Kassie comes back into town years later with a boy that looks, walks, talks and exhibits hypochondriac tendencies just like him. Yes, in terms of believability, “The Switch” is a stretch, but somewhat of a stitch, meaning it’ll put a smile on your face, but won’t bust your gut.

Given the astounding indifference that greeted the film upon its brief theatrical release, I was prepared to dislike it as much as I dislike Aniston; thankfully, it’s better than that, partly because her role is really secondary. This is Bateman’s show through and through, and as always (or at least since his “Arrested Development” comeback), he brightens up everything he’s in, no matter how stale (“The Ex”), sly (“Smokin’ Aces”) or serious (“State of Play”) the material.

Co-directors Josh Gordon and Will Speck (“Blades of Glory”) exhibit no special touch that suggests anything greater than sitcom careers, but the script by Allan Loeb (“Just Go with It”) doesn’t exactly aspire for one, either. “The Switch” is light, but lighthearted enough to merit 101 minutes of your life.

Lionsgate’s Blu-ray features an alternate ending that would have made the film’s minimal box office even less, and a blooper reel that makes me want to be Bateman’s BFF. —Rod Lott


 
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