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MOVIE REVIEW: The Switch

A good romantic comedy from Jennifer Aniston and Jason Bateman

The Switch: Rates a B-.
Courtesy photo

I was with five stewardesses the other night. There are pros and cons to that. When we arrived at a movie theater, I thought it would be one of those “cons,” as they couldn’t decide between The Switch and Going the Distance. I didn’t want to see either.

One tried to say, “Even if you hate it, you can still write a review about it.”

Decent logic, but who wants to waste a few hours on a bad movie? Luckily, this was far from it. I was pleasantly surprised by this enjoyable little rom-com.

From the opening scene with a hysterical actor named Victor Pagan, who plays a sort of homeless, Tourette Syndrome person on a street corner – to us quickly realizing why Jennifer Aniston hasn’t fallen for Jason Bateman during their long friendship.

I find it odd that at least five critics said they “had no chemistry.” Initially, they aren’t supposed to have chemistry. They are friends for a reason. He’s a neurotic mess.

Child actor Thomas Henderson steals every scene he’s in. He’d give Jonathan Lipnicki (Jerry McGuire) a run for (Cuba Gooding’s) money.

I don’t usually take notes while I watch a film, and early on, I was taking a mental note of the funny scenes. I figured there’d only be a handful and that I was going to hate the movie. After 15 minutes, there were at least 20 scenes that were humorous and worked well.

Jeff Goldblum on a treadmill eating a candy bar and lecturing Bateman (“Men have sex with their lady friends, they aren’t put on a ‘time-out.’ What, are you six?”) was very funny.

Even how the “switch” is made, makes a lot more sense.

Two critics claimed this is just a step below rape. A few other critics mentioned doctors doing the same thing and going to jail. Maybe they were watching a different movie. Jason “the master” Bateman did this when he was wacked out (no pun intended) on drugs that Juliette Lewis (playing her usual flakey character) gave him. Oh, and with the help of a Diane Sawyer magazine cover (Judge Wapner relished the fact that Rain Man was a fan of his show…I’m guessing Sawyer will be equally flattered).

Patrick Wilson, who was the original “provider” (and was great in the better film, Little Children) does a nice job of playing a jerk that’s just likable enough to not become a movie cliché.

This isn’t as good a sperm movie (hey, I just created a new genre) as The Kids Are All Right. It’s predictable, and in a few places comes off as sitcomy. A few scenes are also a bit long (Did we need to see the entire process it takes to get rid of lice?).

But the movie is charming, witty, and the father/son aspects are very touching.

It might only be in the theaters a little longer. Don’t let Bill O’Reilly’s complaints about it keep you away, or any of the other critics that would recommend crap like I Am Love over this.

I’m giving it a B- (it just barely made it out of the C section).