The Movie: 7/10
The Switch is a very hard movie to describe, which is funny because it is based on a short story, so you would think that it could not be overly complex, but it is. Best friends Kassie (Jennifer Aniston) and Wally (Jason Bateman) are both living in New York when Kassie decides (to Wally’s dismay) that she absolutely has to become pregnant. Kassie ends up throwing a pregnancy party, where the neurotically based Wally not only meets the “donor” but ends up getting so drunk that he accidentally pours the donation down the drain, before deciding to switch samples with his own.
Thus begins a journey that takes many twists and turns as Kassie moves away to have her baby, while Wally, who was so drunk that he has very little memory of the night in question, moves on with his life until 7 years later Kassie moves back to the big apple. It is not until Wally and the young Sebastian begin hanging out that it becomes glaringly obvious that the two share DNA. From that point on the movie takes a sweet turn as we see the interaction between Wally and Sebastian, and how their relationship grows.
To me the Switch is just a strange little film. I really was not sold on it until Kassie and Sebastian moved back to New York, at which point the focus of the film really changed. I am still not 100% sold on the acting done y either Jennifer Aniston or Jason Bateman (a horribly overacted drunk scene in my opinion) but there are great glimpses of greatness by both. I was shocked to see Jason Bateman so toned down, but overall it worked, and I thought he did a great job overall. I thought that both Jeff Goldblum and Juliette Lewis were great and sorely underused, and I was blown away by Thomas Robinson as the much to wise and worried for his age Sebastian.
The Switch was not at all what I expected, and therefore at times it was hard to get into the flow of the movie. Like I said, it got better in the second half of the movie, and was much easier to rally behind the characters. The Switch is just quirky enough to enjoy, without going overboard.
- Deleted Scenes & Alternate Ending – There are a lot of deleted scenes and an alternate ending that are included on the Blu-ray. A few are pretty interesting, including an alternate shot where Wally intentionally does the infamous switch. All of the shots are introduced by directors Josh Gordon and Will Speck. The alternate ending, which was the initial ending before a re-shoot 7 months after editing was done thankfully did not work.
- The Switch Conceived – The behind the scenes extra runs about 15 minutes, and is pretty normal fare. The movie was based on a short story that was written by Jeffrey Eugenides, and was in the New Yorker.
- Bloopers – The blooper section shows Jason Bateman as his usual funny self, and to me it was a bit sad to see that he really could have been used to spice up the movie a bit more.
Cover Art and Menus: 4/10
I will admit that I am not completely sold on the cover for the Switch. I am just not sure about the photo of Wally (Jason Bateman) staring into a cup of semen. I find it funny that this movie, which seems to struggle to find its identity (is it a romantic comedy or a serious drama, or . . . ) would have such a strange cover. I imagined that this would be a bit more of a romantic comedy, with the way that they advertised the movie, but then I would have expected a more favorable shot of Jason Bateman on the cover. Instead they present this with Kassie (Jennifer Aniston) looking surprised, and Wally looking a bit goofy, staring into a semen sample. Sounds like a comedy, but it only kind of fits that bill.
The menu is a strange static menu with a turkey baster, a calendar, a candle, and little sperm cut outs. It is just a weird little mish-mash, with some scenes from the movie appearing in the top left corner.
Audio & Video: 8/10
The Switch does look and sound great. The 2.35:1 VC-1 encode is crisp, even though the color palette for this movie is a bit dark for my taste. The audio was very well mixed for the most part, with only a few instances where I thought that dialogue should have been a tad brighter. Overall this is a nice presentation.
I liked the Switch, but it really is a hard movie to get a handle on. when I thought it was going to be a romantic comedy, it was pretty bland. When I realised that it was not really going to be a full on comedy, it started to get better. When it changed about half way through the movie into a bit more of a drama featuring Jason Bateman and the adorable Sebastian (with an amazing performance by young Thomas Robinson) I really started to enjoy the movie. the problem with the movie is that it is not really sure what it is, which will drive a lot of people crazy. Jason Bateman seems leashed, as his spontaneity only kind of shines through, while Jennifer Aniston seems to play the same exact role that she always plays, even if it is a type of role we are comfortable with. Overall this is just a strange little movie that really is not going to be for everyone. It is worth a watch, but I am not sure that you will watch it over and over.
Overall Score 7/10