Monday, May 16, 2011

The Switch

Directed by Joss Gordon & Will Speck, Bone Fide Productions, 2010. Starring Jennifer Aniston, Jason Bateman, and Jeff Goldblum.

Genre: Comedy, Drama, Romance

Question: When you see a movie and it says it is a comedy and a drama (mixed in with romance) you expect something specific, right? The mixture of those two genres usually are a good recipe for an interesting outcome. So, what happened with The Switch and where did it go horribly wrong?

I watched The Switch with my husband earlier this week and both of us were sorely disappointed in the film. I had heard some not so great things about it but I adore Jason Bateman and have watched his career grow ever since Silver Spoons. (I miss Arrested Development but I think there might be a movie coming out soon.) His transition to movies was successful and filled with unique and diverse characters. But when I hear bad things about a movie I don't always hold that at face value.

For Jennifer Aniston I really liked Friends but her movie roles since that TV series ended have left me a little numb. They all are variations on the same character and nothing has wowed me since The Good Girl. But I always holdout hope for her since I think she is a good actress.

The third major role in The Switch is Jeff Goldblum, another TV beginner with Tenspeed and Brown Shoe, (Yes, I watched it.) but his movie roles have been much more interesting to watch (The Big Chill and Jurassic Park) Sadly, he didn't even help this film reach a tolerable level.

The hook of the story is not one many films have attempted so that piqued my interest. Really, not many films have discussed sperm donation quite the same way, but I won't go into too much detail about the story. Here is my guess on why this movie didn't work. It started out as a comedy but after "the switch" happened it became a drama and never went back to the lighthearted feel of the beginning. I have never seen that work well before -- starting out in one style and shifting completely to another. Combing two genre styles can work but a balance is necessary, in my opinion, to keep the audience interested.

Besides the odd transition of style, the main characters weren't that likable either. I didn't develop any sympathy or empathy for any of them. The main characters try to portray really good friends (Bateman & Aniston) but I don't recall understanding why they were or how their relationship worked. No one seemed to have that much emotion one way or the other towards anyone in their life. They were all sort of cold.  In fact, I just kept waiting for some explanation. That is never a good sign. So, in the end, the hook, mixed with the lack of chemistry, and change in style left me not liking The Switch.

I regret sometimes having to write a bad review so I always have to say something nice. I will mention there were a couple of funny scenes/lines in the beginning, and the little boy was adorable to watch in this film. The "lice" scene towards the end was precious. It almost had me liking this film if it had more of that type of emotion. Better luck next time, people.

Skipping over my favorite and least favorite for this one.

Did the previews ruin it by showing too much? No, the previews showed a funny movie with an interesting concept. It made me want to see the movie.

Rating: PG-13
Length: 101 minutes

Random thought: I might have a clue about the change on tone in the movie -- two directors. It's just a hunch.

Review: 3 out of 10

COMING SOON: Bridesmaids

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