Josh Gordon’s film “The Switch” is approaching the 10-year anniversary of its release in August 2010. This romantic comedy, set in New York City, is based on the short story “Baster,” written by Jeffery Eugenides. “The Switch” follows characters Kassie Larson, played by Jennifer Aniston, and Wally Mars, played by Jason Bateman, and how their friendship is affected by Kassie’s desperate desire to be a mother.
When Kassie, who is single, decides she wants to have a baby by herself, her best friend Wally takes issue with her less than traditional fertility choices. Both of these characters have distinct personalities, and Aniston and Bateman’s performances inject humor and positivity into the story. Typically, this situation would appear stressful, but the actors’ performances present the subject as a humorous, yet complicated, situation.
The supporting roles also shine, making the film more intriguing and comical. Patrick Wilson, Juliette Lewis and Jeff Goldblum add depth to the world and spice up different scenarios surrounding the central plot. One performance worth mentioning is that of Thomas Robinson, an eight-year-old who managed to capture unique aspects of his character’s personality.
Throughout the film, the wardrobe design seems to fit perfectly with the differences in the character’s personalities. Wally is considered the rule follower throughout the film and his wardrobe of sweaters and otherwise conservative clothing reflects this. Costume designer Kasia Walicka-Maimone effectively captures and portrays the characters’ personalities in clothing before the audience even gets to know them.
The dialogue has its occasional shining moments throughout the film, but the music proves to match the plot excellently. Picked from several different eras, the movie highlights love songs from the ’70s and ’80s. “I Can’t Wait” by Nu Shooz and “Instant Replay” by Dan Hartman are only two songs that make an appearance in especially good scenes.
Despite all its positive aspects, the film does have its flaws. “The Switch” is similar to many other romantic comedies in its unrealistic and poorly written dialogue, some of which is downright cringe-worthy. The film also makes heavy use of voiceover, a particularly artificial form of storytelling.
Two themes present themselves throughout the movie: a basic message about love, and a more interesting exploration of what it is to be a family. Our society has introduced the idea of the perfect family and considers anything else unnatural. “The Switch” not only presents a woman starting a family differently than most, but it also shows all the characters creating their own unique family. Wally is an excellent example of this. He does not know his biological father’s family but creates a family of his own with the people surrounding him. These themes go hand in hand throughout the film and really help to bring it home.
This lighthearted and amusing movie stemmed from a unique idea, and was made great by wonderful performances and strong thematic messages. “The Switch” is a well-executed, easy-going comedy, and a bright and entertaining casual watch.