The Switch (2010 film)
Theatrical release poster
|Screenplay by||Allan Loeb|
by Jeffrey Eugenides
|Music by||Alex Wurman|
|Edited by||John Axelrad|
|Distributed by||Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures|
|Box office||$49.9 million|
The Switch is a 2010 American romantic 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. This was originally published in The New Yorker in 1996. The film stars Jennifer Aniston, Jason Bateman, and child actor Thomas Robinson. 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. Upon its release, The Switch received mixed reviews from critics, who praised its premise and the performances of its cast, but felt that the plot was formulaic. The Switch was the last Miramax film to be distributed by Disney before the former was sold to Filmyard Holdings on December 3, 2010 (not counting The Tempest, as that was released under Disney's Touchstone Pictures banner).
30-something Kassie Larson (Jennifer Aniston) is single, hasn't found love yet, and decides she wants to have a baby. Despite the objections of her long-time, best friend Wally Mars (Jason Bateman), she chooses to do so alone because she can't wait any longer. She also wants a face-to-face sperm donor, disdaining using a sperm bank. Wally suggests he be the donor, but Kassie believes he is too neurotic, pessimistic, and self-absorbed. Since they are best friends, she thinks "that would be weird." Wally has always had feelings for Kassie, and they dated six years ago. His friend Leonard (Jeff Goldblum) points out he missed his chance when Kassie relegated him to the "friend zone."
Kassie selects Roland Nilson (Patrick Wilson) as her sperm donor; he is a handsome, charming, and married assistant professor. Kassie organizes an "insemination party", where Wally meets Roland and takes an instant dislike to him. Roland produces his sperm in the bathroom, leaving it in a sample cup. Wally uses the bathroom and sees the sample. Drunk, Wally plays with the cup and accidentally spills it into the sink. Panicking, he replaces the sperm with his own. The next day at work, still hungover, he remembers nothing. The insemination is successful and Kassie becomes pregnant. Wally is upset when she says that she is returning to her childhood home town in Minnesota, as she thinks it would be a better place to raise a child than New York City. She leaves, and Wally sinks into a dreary period.
Seven years later, Kassie returns to New York with Sebastian (Thomas Robinson), her precocious and neurotic six-year-old son. She wants to reconnect with Wally, and eagerly introduces her son to him. Wally eventually forms a bond with the boy. Sebastian starts to become close to Wally, too. Roland is in the picture, as he got divorced and Kassie has started dating him. She believes he is the biological father of Sebastian and the relationship might work.
Wally notices the strong similarities between him and Sebastian and realizes the result of the switch seven years earlier. Just before Roland proposes to Kassie, Wally reveals to her that Sebastian is his biological son, and he loves her. Shocked and angry about the switch, she rejects him.
After some time passes, Wally finds Kassie waiting for him one day after he leaves work. She says that Sebastian really misses him and needs him. Wally admits he misses and needs Sebastian, too. Kassie says that she is no longer with Roland and has recognized she loves Wally. He proposes to her and she accepts. The final scene shows a happily married Wally and Kassie giving Sebastian an eighth birthday party.
- Jennifer Aniston as Kassie Larson
- Jason Bateman as Wally Mars
- Thomas Robinson as Sebastian Larson
- Bryce Robinson as older Sebastian
- Patrick Wilson as Roland Nilson
- Juliette Lewis as Debbie Epstein
- Jeff Goldblum as Leonard
- Caroline Dhavernas as Pauline
- Scott Elrod as Teddy Declan
- Diane Sawyer as herself (cameo)
Aniston revealed in the DVD "extras" that she had known Bateman since she was 25, and the producers and directors noted their good chemistry in working together.
The film was scheduled on August 20, 2010 in the United States.
The review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes reported that 51% of critics gave the film a positive rating, based on 152 reviews, with an average score of 5.45/10. 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". Aniston was nominated for a Razzie Award for Worst Actress for her performance in the film.
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 it to 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 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.
|2011||Women's Image Network Awards||Actress Feature Film||Jennifer Aniston||Nominated|
|Soundtrack album by |
|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" (featuring 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|
- "'Switch' a bitch for Jennifer Aniston". The Hollywood Reporter. August 24, 2010. Archived from the original on August 25, 2010. Retrieved March 25, 2010.
- "The Switch". The Numbers.
- Jeff Labrecque, "Jennifer Aniston's 'The Baster': Jeff Goldblum joins the comedy," Entertainment Weekly, March 11, 2009.
- "Jen & Jason get to Basting". x17online.
- "Jennifer Aniston and Jason Bateman team up for the Baster". Reelloop.[permanent dead link]
- "Just Baste It". x17online.
- "The Switch". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved January 1, 2020.
- 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. Retrieved 2013-04-03.
- Sharkey, Betsy (2010-08-20). "Movie review: 'The Switch'". LATimes.com. Los Angeles Times. 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.