Sunday, 5 May 2013

No.95 : The Switch

The Switch at the IMDb

Poor old Jason Bateman - he does such good work in TV shows such as ‘Arrested Development’ and in movies like ‘Up in the Air’, ‘Extract’ and even ‘Identity Thief’ but sadly, every so often, he has to sign up to stuff like ‘The Switch’ to presumably pay the bills. The film isn’t terrible but it  is so unimaginative and forgettable that you’ll have cleared it from your mental cache as soon as the credits roll.

Bateman plays Wally Mars a likeable but slightly unusual New Yorker who has yet to meet the right woman. He’s no out and out weirdo but wears tank tops and is the choice of transient mentalists when walking the streets of the Big Apple. He is best friends with Jennifer Aniston, although there is no reason given why they are friends and not shagging - he’s not gay you see. They completely bypass the whole ‘When Harry Met Sally’ thing and have the relationship set at ‘platonic’ from the off.

We know he wants more from the relationship as Jennifer is so lovely, but apart from confiding in his boss, Jeff Goldblum, Jason does nothing to seal the deal. Jennifer however is worried that her biological clock is ticking and lines up a sperm donor in the shape of ‘Little Children’ and ‘Watchmen’s Patrick Wilson to supply the population paste.

She throws a tasteless insemination party where the donor and his wife along with a gaggle of friends show up to sell the man fat. Wilson does his duty into a cup but when Bateman finds the sample when he hits the toilet he decides that maybe his man paste is the product of choice. He forgets all in a drunken haze but we are given clues the next day when Goldblum recounts tales of a late night visits that suggests Wally has been generous with his muck.

We flash forward seven years and Aniston has decided to return to town following the birth and raising of her child in Montana. We know that Bateman is the likely daddy and when they meet up the boy’s introspective character certainly suggest he has child support payments in his future. Several unlikely scenarios serve to bring Bateman and the boy closer together but when Aniston reveals she’s started to date the alleged surrogate we have to wonder who is the daddy and who will end up with the frankly needy Jennifer.

This ‘Who’s the Daddy’ rom-com is OK but it is also undemanding and for the most part unfunny. The central relationship between the earnest and likeable Bateman and the flaky and unreliable Aniston is poorly formed and they have no chemistry whatsoever. That said it’s better than that between Wilson and Aniston which is totally devoid of any believability. The idea of a straight man having Jennifer as a best friend was feeble from the off and although they set him up as a tank top wearer it beggared belief that Bateman wouldn’t call her out early on for leading him on.

The first arc that leads up to the insemination was without laughs and not least because of Aniston’s friend, Juliette Lewis who can’t do comedy and who hasn’t had a decent role since ‘Strange Days’ - don’t come it, ‘Starsky & Hutch’ was rubbish!

‘Seven years later’ was a bit better due to the rapport between Bateman and the boy but the whole tacked on relationship with the surrogate seemed forced and unbelievable from the off. The three acts were clearly marked and when Aniston told Bateman she didn’t want to see him again an hour in you knew things were going to work out fine.

Overall there was nothing to offend or greatly dislike in ‘The Switch’ it just seemed a waste to produce something so formulaic and dull given the talent available.

THE Tag Line - More Fun With the Cup

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