The Switch (2010 film)

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The Switch
Theatrical release poster
Directed by
Screenplay byAllan Loeb
Based on"Baster"
by Jeffrey Eugenides
Produced by
CinematographyJess Hall
Edited byJohn Axelrad
Music byAlex Wurman
Distributed byWalt Disney Studios Motion Pictures
Release dates
  • August 16, 2010 (2010-08-16) (ArcLight Hollywood)
  • August 20, 2010 (2010-08-20) (United States)
Running time
101 minutes
CountryUnited States
Budget$19 million[1]
Box office$49.9 million[2]

The Switch is a 2010 American romantic comedy film directed by Will Speck and Josh Gordon. Based on a screenplay written by Allan Loeb, the film, formerly titled The Baster,[3] was inspired by the short story "Baster" by Jeffrey Eugenides. This was originally published in The New Yorker in 1996.[4][5] 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 and took place in 2009.[6] 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.

This was the final Miramax Films movie to be distributed by Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures during the Disney ownership before Disney sold Miramax to Filmyard Holdings on December 3, 2010.


In her thirties, Kassie Larson is single, has not found love yet, and decides she wants to have a baby. Despite the objections of her long-time best friend Wally Mars, she chooses to do so alone because she cannot 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." He has always had feelings for Kassie, and they dated six years ago. His friend Leonard points out he missed his chance when she relegated him to the "friend zone."

Kassie selects Roland Nilson as her sperm donor; he is a handsome, charming, and married assistant professor at Columbia University. She 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, he 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, her precocious and neurotic six-year-old. She wants to reconnect with Wally, and eagerly introduces her boy to him and Wally eventually bonds with Sebastian. Roland is in the picture, as he got divorced and Kassie has started dating him. She believes he is Sebastian's biological father 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 and needs him. Wally admits he misses and needs Sebastian, too. Kassie says that she is no longer with Roland and has realized she loves Wally, so he proposes. The final scene shows a happily married Wally and Kassie giving Sebastian an eighth birthday party.



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 released on August 20, 2010 in the United States by Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures.

Critical reception[edit]

The review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes reported that 52% of critics gave the film a positive rating, based on 155 reviews, with an average score of 5.50/10. 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."[7] On Metacritic, which uses a normalized rating system, the film holds a 52/100 rating, based on 30 reviews, indicating "mixed or average reviews".[8] Aniston was nominated for a Razzie Award for Worst Actress for her performance in the film.

Jason Bateman was praised by critics for his performance.[9]

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."[10] 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."[11]

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."[12] Similarly, Andrew O'Hehir from 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."[13] 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."[14]

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."[9] 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.[15] 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."[16]

Commercial success[edit]

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.[17] 91 days in US theatres, it opened in 2,012 theaters and was ranked seventh after its opening weekend, averaging $4,193 per venue.[17] 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.[18]


Year Award Category Recipient Result
2011 Women's Image Network Awards Actress Feature Film Jennifer Aniston Nominated


The Switch
Soundtrack album by
Various Artists
ReleasedAugust 17, 2010 (2010-08-17)
GenreFilm soundtrack
Track listing
1."Opening Titles"Alex Wurman1:54
2."Instant Replay"Dan Hartman3:25
3."Freakshow on the Dance Floor"The Bar-Kays6:34
4."I Can't Wait" (edited version)Nu Shooz3:40
5."The Bomb (These Sounds Fall Into My Mind)" (Pop Radio Mix)Sunrider2:43
6."Here Comes the Sun"Fat Larry's Band5:22
7."Pushin' On" (featuring Alice Russell)Quantic Soul Orchestra3:19
8."Little L"Jamiroquai3:57
9."Lice"Alex Wurman2:49
10."Open Your Heart"Lavender Diamond3:11
11."Sea Green, See Blue"Jaymay6:17
12."Bluebird of Happiness" (Ulrich Schnauss Remix)Mojave 39:56
13."All the Beautiful Things"Eels2:22
14."Numbered Days"Eels3:42
15."Lovers' Carvings"Bibio3:54


  1. ^ "'Switch' a bitch for Jennifer Aniston". The Hollywood Reporter. August 24, 2010. Archived from the original on June 14, 2022. Retrieved June 14, 2022.
  2. ^ "The Switch". The Numbers.
  3. ^ Jeff Labrecque, "Jennifer Aniston's 'The Baster': Jeff Goldblum joins the comedy," Entertainment Weekly, March 11, 2009.
  4. ^ "Jen & Jason get to Basting". x17online.
  5. ^ "Jennifer Aniston and Jason Bateman team up for the Baster". Reelloop.[permanent dead link]
  6. ^ "Just Baste It". x17online.
  7. ^ "The Switch". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved January 19, 2022.
  8. ^ The Switch at Metacritic Edit this at Wikidata
  9. ^ a b Long, Tom (2010-08-19). "Review: Jason Bateman shines in an otherwise tepid 'The Switch'". Detroit News. Archived from the original on 2013-12-16. Retrieved 2013-04-04.
  10. ^ Hornaday, Ann (2010-08-20). "Surprise! A special delivery". Washington Post. Archived from the original on 2013-04-12. Retrieved 2013-04-03.
  11. ^ Sharkey, Betsy (2010-08-20). "Movie review: 'The Switch'". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2013-04-03.
  12. ^ Phillips, Michael (2010-08-19). "'The Switch' review: A step ahead of most recent rom-coms". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved 2013-04-04.
  13. ^ O'Hehir, Andrew (2010-08-19). "Bateman steals Jennifer Aniston's spotlight". Salon. Retrieved 2013-04-04.
  14. ^ Gleiberman, Owen (2010-08-19). "The Switch (2010)". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved 2013-04-04.
  15. ^ 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.
  16. ^ Barker, Andrew (2010-08-19). "The Switch". Variety. Retrieved 2013-04-04.
  17. ^ a b "The Switch (2010)". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved 2013-04-03.
  18. ^ "The Switch - DVD Sales". The Numbers. Retrieved 2011-11-01.

External links[edit]