Friday, 7 January 2011

The Switch Film Review

I haven't seen a Jennifer Aniston movie for a while and this seemed to be the best one released recently (wasn't that keen on Bounty Hunter). I thought the plot sounded quite similar to "The Back Up Plan", but it turns out quite differently.

Kassie (Jennifer Aniston) wants to have a baby without going through the hassle of dating and marriage but her best friend Wally (Jason Bateman) disagrees with it. At her insemination party, Wally gets incredibly drunk and accidentally knocks over the donor Roland (Patrick Wilson)'s bodily fluids and replaces it with his own.

Seven years later, Kassie and her son Sebastian (Thomas Robinson) moves back into town. Upon seeing Sebastian, Wally notices their similarities and realises Sebastian is his son. Does he tell Kassie, who he still has feelings for and ruin what could happen between them or forever be just an "uncle" to his own son?

The film is almost split into two halves, the first half developing Wally's character and explains what happened which led to Kassie's son being his; the second about Wally building a relationship with Sebastian and fighting for him.

I thought the beginning of the film rather dull with only a few comedic highlights (sperm confetti falling out of Wally's invite) but then realised the film wasn't getting much funnier. Advertised as a comedy/rom com, I really didn't find this funny at all! In that respect, this film is pretty rubbish as it doesn't make you laugh and isn't that entertaining.

What this film DOES do, is highlight how sweet and pure a relationship between father and son could be- the scenes between Wally and Sebastian are superb and makes you all gushy inside. This is partly due to how irresistibly cute Thomas Robinson is with his round chubby face and the way he speaks! Just "Aww" all over.

There isn't much climax or rollercoastering in this film though- the only point where I was somewhat shocked was at the end after Wally confessed everything. However, the ending was extremely predictable and surprisingly straightforward. I think it was pretty much a certainty from the opening that the two leads would get together so the incorporation of a distraction or a third person really wasn't necessary. In this way, I felt the film tried too hard to be mainstream and commercial when it could have been a really deep and emotional drama about the relationship between a  father and son.

Jason Bateman- Wally Mars
Jennifer Aniston- Kassie Larson
Thomas Robinson- Sebastian

Also stars Patrick Wilson

Jennifer Aniston was surprisingly dull. Even when she's being typecast as "Rachel from Friends", at least she brings some humour and emotion and free spirit into the role, but here she is just an empty vessel that talks. 

I'm unfamiliar with Jason Bateman but here he does quite a good job, certainly suited to the character he's been given- I'm not sure if that's his actual personality but he did it well.

Unlike The Back Up Plan, the perspective here is on Wally opposed to Kassie and there is a focus on his new found relationship to Sebastian. I really like the moments they have together and they share great chemistry. However, chemistry between Aniston and Bateman is non-existent; I found it slightly strange picturing them get together (where I predicted the plot would go) though Patrick Wilson wouldn't have been much better.

The film fails as a comedy or rom com but does have some gushy and very meaningful scenes showing the relationship between father and son. These scenes are the best scenes and really, had the film focused solely on this aspect and scrapped all the unnecessary exterior plot lines, this film could be so much more. I'm sure that someone will have cleverly put a montage of the best scenes onto YouTube, so you can probably just watch it there, because apart from these few very moving scenes, this film has very little else to offer.

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