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Didn't make me Switch off!
The Switch (DVD)
Member Name: mummy2harry
The Switch (DVD)
Advantages: Sweet, lovely story, well acted
Disadvantages: Very predictable, not a lot actually happened!
Wally and Kassie have been best friends for years, and have been through a lot of ups and downs together too. So when Kassie makes the revelation in a cafe that she's going to try and get pregnant via a sperm donor, he's a bit shocked and worries that his friend isn't doing the right thing. When she holds an "I'm getting pregnant" party, Wally has a bit too much to drink, and somehow has an accident with the pot of "donation" in the bathroom, deciding in his drunken state to replace it with his own "donation", but he's so drunk that the next morning he doesn't remember a thing. Fast forward 6 years, and Kassie and her young son Sebastien have moved back to New York, and are back in Wally's life. Wally begins to notice some similarities between himself and Sebastien, and when it dawns on him what has happened, he doesn't know how to tell his best friend what he did. Can he own up to the switch?!
I was sent this film on my Lovefilm account a few months ago, and to be honest I forgot all about it until last night! I was bored, and wanted to watch something a bit light-hearted and funny, and found this on top of my DVD player and decided it would be worth a watch. Jen Aniston films are always a bit hit and miss for me, so I was hoping that this one would be one of her better ones! I haven't really seen Jason Bateman in a lot of movies, so didn't have a lot of expectation regarding him. What I did notice about this film was that really, the entire plot-line was revealed in the movie's blurb, and there wasn't a lot surprising there, it was just there for you to watch the journey this took, and how it'd pan out, but although it wasn't overly exciting, it was a lovely watch and I really enjoyed it.
I've read a few things that comment on the lack of chemistry between Aniston and Bateman as best friends Kassie and Wally, but I have to personally disagree about that. I felt that they came across really well on screen as friends, and certainly had a believable friendship to me. I felt that I really warmed to Jason Bateman as Wally, he seemed like such a nice guy and I couldn't find anything to dislike about him at all. He was very funny, and made me laugh out loud a good few times, and I thought he suited his slightly neurotic but caring character really well. He covers a wide range of emotions in the film, and I felt he portrayed drunk Wally especially well, he was so funny! Aniston too was very good, I didn't feel as warm to her but that's because I felt she was a bit harsh on poor Wally who was only looking out for her. However, she acted well throughout the film, although she wasn't at all convincing as a mother, she seemed awkward with the young actor who played Sebastien, and didn't convince me at all!
The young boy who played Sebastien, an actor called Thomas Robinson was amazing given his young age. He plays worrywart Sebastien so well, outshines the adult actors in most of his scenes, and is a gorgeous, well-spoken little boy who was a joy to watch, and I can see a bright career ahead of him if he chooses to stay in the movie business. Jeff Goldblum also has a minor role in this film, as Wally's boss Leonard, and he was great, very funny and easy to watch. Finally, Patrick Wilson plays Roland, the sperm donator who believes he is Sebastien's dad. He was very dislikeable as a person, although full credit to Wilson for making his so smarmy and unlikeable, he just made me cringe whenever he was on screen and his chemistry with Kassie was just so false, I don't understand how they believed they were right for each other! Overall, I felt the cast did a really good job of bringing their characters to life, each seemed to suit the person they were playing, and made for good viewing on screen. I enjoyed watching the story fold out with them, and they all did good jobs with their parts, in particular Robinson and Bateman.
The film is set in New York, as many films these days seem to be but it didn't dominate the film too much, instead it chose to focus on the main story and have New York just as the setting. There were some gorgeous scenery shorts that added something to the film, and it was nice to watch in that respect. I felt the issue of sperm donation was handled well in the film, it does highlight the problems a woman can go through in making the decision to be a lone parent, but I felt the film did the issue justice, and the characters all seemed quite sensible about it, especially regarding the young child at the middle of it too. Yes, nothing happened that we either didn't know about already, or didn't expect to happen but that somehow didn't seem to matter. I just enjoyed watching the story unfold, and the film did make me laugh, and I did well up towards the end. I felt the budding relationship between Wally and Sebastien was especially touching, and did make me tear up a bit!
I'm sure a lot of rom-com cynics out there won't like this film, or will slate it because yes, it is predictable and nothing amazing or shocking happens for the duration, but I really enjoyed it. It had nice characters that you care about, a funny and watchable plot which makes you wonder how it's going to go if and when Wally reveals what he's done, and also highlights the highs and lows of becoming a parent via sperm donation. It's an easy and light-hearted watch, and definitely has its funny moments courtesy of Jason Bateman and the many relationships in the film are all very much worth watching. I found the film actually went quite quickly as I watched it, the pace of it was just right and the length too seemed to work perfectly. If you enjoy Jennifer Aniston's other movies, then you're probably going to like this one too because it's certainly one of her better ones, I really enjoyed it!
Directed by Josh Gordon and Will Speck
Written by Allan Loeb (screen play) and Jeffrey Eugenides (short story)
Running Time: 101 minutes
Jason Bateman ... Wally Mars
Jennifer Aniston ... Kassie Larson
Jeff Goldblum ... Leonard
Juliette Lewis ... Debbie
Patrick Wilson ... Roland
Thomas Robinson ... Sebastian
The DVD is available on Amazon.co.uk for £4.29 (March 2012 price).
Thank you for reading.
Summary: A very sweet and light hearted film