The Switch Review
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From Jennifer Lopez in The Back-up Plan to Annette Bening and Julianne Moore in The Kids Are All Right, it seems that everyone and her sister is racing off to the sperm bank this year. But even if J-Lo’s latest left you fearing another artificial insemination rom-com, don’t shy away from The Switch—because you might just find yourself pleasantly surprised.

Despite the subject matter (and the fact that Jennifer Aniston gets top billing), The Switch isn’t about a woman’s decision to take charge of her life by going the turkey baster route. Instead, it’s about a man’s inability to open up to the woman he loves.

  
 
Jason Bateman stars as Wally, an uptight, neurotic New York businessman who’s been seriously unlucky in love. He once had the perfect woman—one who loved him in spite of his quirks—but he lost her to another man: her son.

Seven years ago, Wally’s best friend, Kassie (Aniston), decided to stop looking for Mr. Right and start a family on her own. She even picked out the perfect donor, Roland (Patrick Wilson). But on the night of Kassie’s big Getting Pregnant Party, Wally’s drunken antics resulted in a spilled sample, which he secretly replaced with his own. The whole night was a drunken blur—one that Wally quickly forgot about after Kassie moved home to Minnesota to raise her child.

Now, however, Kassie has returned to New York with uptight, neurotic six-year-old Sebastian (Thomas Robinson). As Wally spends more time with Sebastian, memories of that drunken night start coming back to him—but he’s afraid to tell Kassie, worried that he’ll lose both the woman he loves and the son he adores.

The story may be predictable (in that reliable, chick flick way), but the lovable characters make The Switch a surprisingly delightful rom-com. Bateman’s Wally is endearingly curmudgeonly—a cranky old man in a young man’s body. He wears sweater vests and hums while he chews, and he’s constantly obsessing about the tumors and diseases that he may or may not have. He could have easily been a completely unlikeable character—a chronic complainer who spreads his doom and gloom to those around him. But Bateman’s dry wit makes him more of a lovable loser—a clueless man-boy who just needs a hug.

Meanwhile, Jeff Goldblum helps to lighten the mood as Wally’s hilariously blunt friend and colleague, Leonard. Just when Wally’s grumbling could get to be too much, Leonard will come along and make you laugh. At times, it seems that Goldblum is channeling Christopher Walken to create the perfect opposite to Bateman’s grim, conservative Wally.

Best of all, though, is Thomas Robinson, the adorable little boy who plays precocious young hypochondriac Sebastian. He’s like a living, breathing Charlie Brown—a melancholy little kid who seems to have his own personal rain cloud floating above his head. His chemistry with Bateman is flawless—and, together, they’re an irresistible pair.

Kassie might just be Aniston’s best role in years—but, really, it’s the men who make The Switch such a charming chick flick. It’s an unexpectedly pleasant switch from this year’s other sperm donor comedy.

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