Film

Sperm fail: ‘The Switch’ trades in rom-com platitudes

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Bateman and his little buddies

The Details

The Switch
Two and a half stars
Jason Bateman, Jennifer Aniston, Thomas Robinson
Directed by Josh Gordon and Will Speck
Rated PG-13
Beyond the Weekly
The Switch
IMDb: The Switch
Rotten Tomatoes: The Switch

Jeffrey Eugenides’ 1996 short story “Baster” is gritty, bittersweet, raunchy and entirely unsuitable to be made into a major motion picture (for one thing, it’s only 14 pages long). That, of course, hasn’t stopped Hollywood from turning it into The Switch, a dull romantic comedy that takes the final twist of Eugenides’ story—a man replaces a donor’s sperm his best friend is using to get pregnant with his own—as its jumping-off point for the story of neurotic investment analyst Wally (Bateman) and his friend Kassie (Aniston) falling in love after she unknowingly gives birth to his child.

Seven years after the hijacked insemination, Kassie returns from another state with her son Sebastian (Robinson) in tow. From there it’s your standard contrived rom-com, with misunderstandings that could be resolved if the characters bothered to talk directly to each other for five minutes. Bateman and Aniston have no chemistry, and the movie’s most entertaining moments come from Jeff Goldblum in the thankless supportive-friend role (hearing him say “mumbety-jumbety” is the funniest thing in the entire movie). Compared to something like The Back-Up Plan, The Switch is sensitive and restrained in its take on modern motherhood, but on its own it’s just blandly forgettable.

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Josh Bell

Josh Bell is the film editor for Las Vegas Weekly, where he's been writing movie and TV reviews since 2002. ...

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