The Switch (2010 film)
|Screenplay by||Allan Loeb|
by Jeffrey Eugenides
|Music by||Alex Wurman|
|Editing by||John Axelrad|
|Distributed by||Miramax Films (theatrical)
|Running time||101 minutes|
The Switch is a 2010 American comedy film, directed by Josh Gordon and Will Speck. Based on a screenplay written by Allan Loeb, the film, formerly titled The Baster, was inspired by the short story Baster by Jeffrey Eugenides, originally published in The New Yorker in 1996. Starring Jennifer Aniston and Jason Bateman, it revolves around unmarried 40-year-old television producer Kassie Larson who turns to artificial insemination to get pregnant. After reuniting with her best friend years later, she finds out he has been keeping a secret from her: he replaced her preferred sperm sample with his own. Child actor Thomas Robinson portrays their son, while Patrick Wilson, Juliette Lewis, and Jeff Goldblum appear in key supporting roles.
Filming began in March 2009, and ended in May 2009. Re-shoots took place in October 2009. The plot, involving artificial insemination by donor, has similarities to The Back-up Plan, which was filmed at approximately the same time, and followed in the wake of Baby Mama, which involved surrogacy. Upon release, the comedy garnered generally mixed reviews by critics, who commended its premise and a charming cast but felt that the script was trite and rom-com formulaic. The Switch was the last Miramax film to be distributed by Disney before the former was sold by Filmyard Holdings in December 2010.
Kassie Larson (Jennifer Aniston) decides she wants to have a baby. Despite the objections of her neurotic best friend Wally Mars (Jason Bateman), she chooses to do so alone, with the services of handsome and charming sperm donor Roland (Patrick Wilson). Wally has always had feelings for Kassie, but as his friend Leonard (Jeff Goldblum) points out, he missed his chance and she put him in the "friend zone." Kassie organizes an "insemination party," where Roland produces the sperm in the bathroom, and leaves behind the cup. Wally uses the bathroom and sees the sample. Drunk, and not liking the idea of Kassie being inseminated with this sperm, he plays with the cup, and accidentally spills it into the sink. Panicking, he replaces the sperm with his own. The insemination is successful but Kassie has to leave New York as she thinks that Minnesota would be a better place to raise a child; still believing that she is pregnant with Roland's child.
Seven years later, Kassie returns to New York along with precocious-but-neurotic son Sebastian (Thomas Robinson). Wally forms a bond with this loveable mini-version of himself and Sebastian has started to become close with Wally, but the bad news is that Roland is in the picture too: Kassie has started dating him because she thinks he is Sebastian's father. In the end, Wally reveals to Kassie that Sebastian is his son, along with his true feelings for her. At first she is angry, and does not want to see him again, but Sebastian misses him and so does she; finally she breaks up with Roland. Wally proposes to her, and Kassie accepts. The final scene shows a very happily married Wally and Kassie at Sebastian's birthday party.
- Jennifer Aniston as Kassie Larson
- Jason Bateman as Wally Mars
- Thomas Robinson as Sebastian Larson
- Patrick Wilson as Roland
- Juliette Lewis as Debbie Epstein
- Jeff Goldblum as Leonard
- Caroline Dhavernas as Pauline
- Scott Elrod as Declan
- Bryce Robinson as older Sebastian Larson
- Diane Sawyer as herself
The Switch has received mixed reviews from critics. The review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes reported that 51% of critics gave the film a positive rating, based on 147 reviews, with an average score of 5.4/10. Its consensus states "The Switch has an interesting premise and a charming cast; unfortunately, it also has a trite script that hews too close to tired rom-com formulas." On Metacritic, which uses a normalized rating system, the film holds a 52/100 rating, based on 30 reviews, indicating "mixed or average reviews".
Ann Hornaday, writing for the Washington Post gave The Switch three out of four stars. She wrote that "this disarmingly winning comedy turns into a warm, quirkily observant film, strengthened by some appealing performances and a low-key, easygoing vibe. Less reminiscent of the dreadful comedy The Back-Up Plan than 2002's lovely About a Boy, this adaptation of a Jeffrey Eugenides story takes viewers down a path that, while by no means of least resistance, possesses a gratifying share of surprises." Los Angeles Times author Betsy Sharkey noted that the film "is what you might call a Bate-and-switch affair. More his journey than hers, more satire than slapstick, the film is that rare example of rom-com about men, which turns out to be a nice switch indeed." She also compared the About a Boy and Lisa Cholodenko's 2010 film The Kids Are All Right, adding: "Though the film never quite rises to the level of either, the filmmakers show enough restraint to keep things interesting, Aniston and Bateman keep things both light and dark when they should, and Robinson's Sebastian steals everyone's heart."
Michael Phillips of the Chicago Tribune remarked that while "Jennifer Aniston gets top billing, the character played by Jason Bateman sets the tone." He found that "around the halfway point it starts getting interesting and the people who put it together are at least working in a realm of reasonable intelligence and wit and respect for the audience. I wish it were great, but 'pretty good' puts it ahead of plenty of recent romantic comedies." Similarly, Andrew O'Hehir from Salon.com wrote, "here comes the surprise: It’s peculiar, and pretty good! Taken on its own terms, it’s a light, sweet, curiously enjoyable misfit romance, whose real star is not Aniston but her magnificently awkward Lothario, Jason Bateman." Owen Gleiberman from Entertainment Weekly gave the film a B rating and called it "a pleasant surprise. It's a by-the-numbers movie, but the dots that get connected feel new."
Less enthusiastic with the film, Detroit News's Tom Long wrote that "it's not a bad film, really, just sort of average. But Bateman is so good in it – natural, funny, yet full of real emotion – that you immediately want to see him again in a better film." Barely impressed, Joe Neumaier of New York Daily News called the film a "Judd Apatow lite, Farrelly brothers special blend. Just call it When Harry Met Sally and Her Ovum. Andrew Barker from Variety felt that The Switch was "an unfunny, manipulative romance about two unlikable people and their prop of a son [...] The pic mangles the premise of its source material."
Even though it gained mixed to lukewarm reviews from critics, The Switch proved to be a moderate financial success. Budgeted at $19 million, it grossed $49.8 million worldwide, 55.7% of which came from its domestic run. 91 days in US theatres, it opened in 2,012 theaters and was ranked seventh after its opening weekend, averaging $4,193 per venue. On January 18, 2011, Maple Pictures released the film on DVD and Blu-ray in Canada, while Lionsgate released it in the United States on March 15, 2011. It grossed $ 7.7 million in US DVD sales.
|Soundtrack album by Various Artists|
|Released||August 17, 2010|
|1.||"Opening Titles"||Alex Wurman||1:54|
|2.||"Instant Replay"||Dan Hartman||3:25|
|3.||"Freakshow On The Dance Floor"||The Bar-Kays||6:34|
|4.||"I Can't Wait (Edited Version)"||Nu Shooz||3:40|
|5.||"The Bomb (These Sounds Fall Into My Mind) (Pop Radio Mix)"||Sunrider||2:43|
|6.||"Here Comes The Sun"||Fat Larry'S Band||5:22|
|7.||"Pushin' On Feat. Alice Russell"||Quantic Soul Orchestra||3:19|
|10.||"Open Your Heart"||Lavender Diamond||3:11|
|11.||"Sea Green, See Blue"||Jaymay||6:17|
|12.||"Bluebird Of Happiness (Ulrich Schnauss Remix)"||Mojave 3||9:56|
|13.||"All The Beautiful Things"||Eels||2:22|
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- "Just Baste It". x17online.
- Colleen Mastony (June 21, 2009). "Heartache of infertility shared on stage, screen". Chicago Tribune.
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- The Switch at Metacritic
- Long, Tom (2010-08-19). "Review: Jason Bateman shines in an otherwise tepid 'The Switch'". Detroit News. Retrieved 2013-04-04.
- Hornaday, Ann (2010-08-20). "Surprise! A special delivery". Washington Post. WashingtonPost.com. Retrieved 2013-04-03.
- Sharkey, Betsy (2010-08-20). "Movie review: 'The Switch'". Los Angeles Times. LATimes.com. Retrieved 2013-04-03.
- Phillips, Michael (2010-08-19). "'The Switch' review: A step ahead of most recent rom-coms". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved 2013-04-04.
- O'Hehir, Andrew (2010-08-19). "Bateman steals Jennifer Aniston’s spotlight". Salon. Salon.com. Retrieved 2013-04-04.
- Gleiberman, Owen (2010-08-19). "The Switch (2010)". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved 2013-04-04.
- Neumaier, Joe (2010-08-19). "'The Switch' review: Jason Bateman may be on, but the 'Switch' is off". New York Daily News. Retrieved 2013-04-04.
- Barker, Andrew (2010-08-19). "The Switch". Variety. Retrieved 2013-04-04.
- "The Switch (2010)". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved 2013-04-03.
- "The Switch - DVD Sales". The Numbers. Retrieved 2011-11-01.