Review: The Switch (Film)

PhotobucketI’m a grump, a grouch, the kind of lady who says, “Ugh” at romantic comedies with a thumbs down and over-exaggerated eye-rolling. I should have hated this film because it’s just Jennifer Aniston playing Rachel from Friends again for the umpteenth time and Jason Bateman is playing a variation of Michael Bluth from the brilliant Arrested Development. Well, friends, I’m going to confess something to you. I know I’m a noted cynic and hater of all things corny and cheeseball and over-processed, gimmicky bullshit, but I gotta tell you: I love Rachel and Michael Bluth, all right? [side note: I’m starting to think that maybe it’s time I stop kidding myself and stop telling people, “My favorite film? Why, Wong Kar Wai’s seminal film, In the Mood for Love, of course,” and instead say that it’s Mannequin 2: On the Move starring Kristy Swanson and William Ragsdale– gotta love the main theme song, “Nothing’s Gonna Stop Us Now” by Starship] I avoided seeing this at the theater because I didn’t want to be seen as one of those women gushing, “Ohhhh, I love The Notebook. Ryan Gosling + Rachel MacAdams should be together forever!” and “OH MY GOD, how accurate was He’s Just Not That Into You? It’s like they read my web diary!” and “SHUT UP, Sex in the City 2 is the best movie of ALL TIME. OF ALL TIME!!!” or “I WILL JUST DIE IF I DON’T SEE THAT NEW KATE HUDSON MOVIE ON OPENING NIGHT!! My girlfriends and I are going to head on over right after Happy Hour at Cosmo’s where I will drink many pink girly drinks with umbrellas in it.” Or “Ohmygaw, I’m so going to crash Target’s website and servers because I just absolutely have to have those ugly rain boots with the print on it by some Italian guy I’ve never heard of.” That’s just not me. Admittedly, I scoff at those women. And why, for God’s sake? I like cats, I write romance novels, I LOVE romance novels, and I like shoes very, very much. Why should I make fun of these ladies when I once watched that movie with Katherine Heigl and Josh Duhamel and found myself rooting for those 2 crazy kids to make it work? On top of that, I am unabashedly excited for that Stephanie Plum movie starring Katherine Heigl when I just know that the critics will hate it. What do I gain for pretending I hate these movies and proclaiming loudly how awful and sexist they are? Why should I deprive myself of happiness from watching goofy, critically lambasted films just because people might think I’m uncool? Hipster cred makes NO ONE happy and satisfied. From now on, I will proudly declare that I LOVE so-called “awful” movies. So there.

Anyway, Jennifer Aniston and Jason Bateman are platonic BFFs. They’ve been friends for a very long time, but Jennifer Aniston is not attracted to Jason Bateman because he’s nebbish, neurotic, and would probably make a terrible boyfriend. He can’t ever make up his mind, is allergic to many things, and worries about the most inconsequential things. Jason Bateman decides he is in love with Jennifer Aniston right around the same time Jennifer Aniston thinks it’s about damn time she considers having a child: she’s successful at work, has a great apartment (don’t they all), and doesn’t need a man to make a baby… that is, she’ll need a man, but only for his biological contribution. In a cup. Jason Bateman goes, “Wait, wait, is this something you really want to do? Kids are too much trouble. They’re germ bombs and will take all your money and make you get fat. And also, do you really want to be a single mom?” Jennifer Aniston brushes off all of Jason Bateman’s nebbish worrying and decides she will have a child, damn it. She finds a perfect donor in Patrick Wilson, who is good-looking, smart, athletic, and has good teeth. She even throws a party where she invites all of her friends along with Patrick Wilson and his perfectly adorable wife, who is totally okay with Patrick Wilson’s genetic contribution because they need the money and both think there should be a lot more little Patrick Wilsons running around.

(That is Jason Bateman sneering at a cup of JIZZ on the movie poster, by the way)

Jason Bateman is very upset at this turn of events. His neurotic, nebbish worrying did nothing to dissuade Jennifer Aniston out of her mission to impregnate herself with a turkey baster and now he’s in full-blown freak-out mode that only Michael Bluth can fully execute.

Which brings me to this question: Is it REALLY that easy? Can a guy really just… um… spill himself into a cup which a woman seeking to get pregnant can just suck up with a turkey baster and inject into her… erm… well of femininity? You don’t need a doctor or anything?

Anyway, Michael Bluth goes into the bathroom very drunk and upset and finds the warm cup of jizz just sittin’ there at the edge of the sink WHERE PEOPLE WHO HAD JUST GONE #2 MAY WASH THEIR HANDS, which he immediately picks up. Of course. Did I mention he’s very, very drunk? He pops the thing open, maybe sniffs it, makes a face, and proceeds to play with it. Not in that way, you pervs. It’s not like he sticks his finger in it and smears the goo all over his face or anything. He plays the “ooh… I’m gonna drop it, I’m gonna drop it…” game and then he does drop it. He may have been on something like cough syrup or Xanax as well as really drunk, ’cause seriously, who does that shit?! He decides right then and there that he’s going to… erm… replace it.

Oh, hey, do you guys remember that movie with Ellen Barkin and Jimmy Smits where a guy is killed by a bunch of his girlfriends (one of whom is JoBeth Williams, who was the mom from Poltergeist) for being a sexist, cheating, lying scumbag and wakes up in the hot, blond body of Ellen Barkin. Ellen Barkin does an awesome job portraying a swaggering, smirking, sexist ape, only to get date-raped by Jimmy Smits for her trouble. I don’t know what it is about Jimmy Smits, but I really hate his face. Anyway, I’m kidding about the date-rape part. One night, they get really, really drunk and they sleep together and Ellen Barkin gets pregnant. By the way, they apparently get so drunk that neither of them remember anything from the previous night; Ellen Barkin only realizes they had sex when she gets up to go to the bathroom and realizes her chonies are missing. She gets pregnant, like I mentioned, and Jimmy Smits insists they get married so the baby is not born a bastard because no one wants Jimmy Smits’ bastard, does one?

I really, REALLY thought this movie was a remake of that movie. That would have been awesome.

Where were we? Michael Bluth has replaced Patrick Wilson’s genetic contribution with his own and Rachel from Friends is now pregnant. Michael Bluth has no recollection whatsoever of that night and Rachel from Friends has since moved far, far away because she doesn’t want to raise her child in The City. Fast-forward seven years later, Rachel from Friends is back due to a job offer and has brought her child with her. Michael Bluth gets a call from Rachel from Friends and she wants to have dinner to catch up and rehash the old times. Michael Bluth, of course, is still in love with Rachel from Friends, so he goes to meet her, all excited and squirmy and neurotic. He meets the son of Rachel from Friends and is struck by how nebbish, neurotic, and awkward the kid is. Hmmmm…

Meanwhile, Patrick Wilson has divorced from his all-too-understanding wife and wants to become a real family with Rachel from Friends. After all, they already have a kid together. Patrick Wilson and Rachel from Friends go on dates while Michael Bluth babysits Neurotico and wonders about the many, many similarities he seems to have with the little boy. He is horrified when it dawns on him that FOR SOME UNGODLY REASON, Neurotico– how did it happen? how??– is the fruit of his loins. He figures out that on the night Rachel from Friends threw her I’m-impregnating-myself-with-a-turkey-baster party, he must have gotten really drunk, spilled (snerk!) the jizz, and replaced it with his own. Quelle horreur! How does one arrive at that conclusion?

Patrick Wilson, on the other hand, is convinced he’s supposed to form a family unit with Rachel from Friends and Little Bluth and will do anything to make that happen. To wit, for Little Bluth’s birthday, he takes them indoor mountain climbing when it’s very obvious that Little Bluth is the child in your PE class who makes everyone late for fourth period because the PE teacher made everyone stay to do fifty sit-ups because Little Bluth couldn’t run a mile in 15 minutes. Little Bluth CANNOT climb and becomes hysterical when Patrick Wilson makes him do so. Patrick Wilson is bemused because no child of his could be a wussy wimp. He is furthermore confuzzled when Little Bluth seeks comfort from Michael Bluth as Rachel from Friends looks on with equal parts worry and befuddlement. Seeing Little Bluth becoming too attached to Michael Bluth and Rachel from Friends seeming to follow suit, Patrick Wilson decides to up the ante: he asks Rachel from Friends to marry him in a surprise engagement party in front of his friends and family. Convinced that Rachel from Friends will marry Patrick Wilson and he will never see her or Little Bluth ever again, Michael Bluth decides to spring a plan into action: He has to tell Rachel from Friends the truth! But will she hate him forever for his perfidy and turn away from him forever? Pffft, girl, you crazy.

I do have to thank this movie for introducing me to the Eels. This song is awesome.

I swear to God, I’ve read a Harlequin romance novel with this plot before. Help a sister out? Can anyone think of a Harlequin story that resembles this?

Oh my word: I liked this movie. It’s over-baked, contrived, and couldn’t be more silly even if tried, but I really enjoyed the chemistry between Michael Bluth and Rachel from Friends. They’re just both really likable people. The kid who plays Little Bluth a.k.a. Neurotico is spot-on, even though he does take it to Precocious Adult-Sounding Child Alert Level 5 a few times. Patrick Wilson was great as the arrogant jock-strap who can’t believe that Rachel from Friends would choose Michael Bluth over him and he’s not TOO big of a jerk, just desperate to have his own family because he believes that’s the way it’s supposed to be: a man has to have a wife and children. I like the way the movie plays out the whole OH-MY-GOD-YOU-DID-WHAT scene. It was sufficiently mortifying for everyone involved and the resolution and mopiness that follows said reveal doesn’t drag on and on. There are a few eye-rolling moments and there’s nothing to see here, but otherwise a pleasant way to spend a couple of hours. It’s worth Netflixing or catching on TBS or USA where it will inevitably show up in a couple of years.


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One thought on “Review: The Switch (Film)

  1. Emma

    He was wasted. Remember Juliet Lewis' character gave him some kind of pill she got from her mother or something. I liked it & I normally don't care for Jenn Anniston movies. I will however watch anything with Jason Bateman in it because I loves him. Great review! Oooh! You forgot about what Jason Bateman's character uses to get off when he's replacing the original donation! Diane Sawyer! ROFL. Oooh and yep, it's that easy. Don't know if people really use a turkey baster tho. Are the specimens big enough? Or do they use a syringe without a needle?


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