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RUNNING TIME: 101 minutes
- Deleted scenes
- ”The Switch Conceived” – behind-the-scenes featurette
- Exclusive to Blu-ray: Alternate ending with introduction by the directors
- Exclusive to Blu-ray: Additional deleted scenes with introduction by the directors
- Exclusive to Blu-ray: Bloopers
A guy drunkenly replaces his best friend’s donor sperm with his own. I hate when that happens.
Directors Will Speck and Josh Gordon (Blades of Glory)
Actors Jennifer Aniston, Jason Bateman, Jeff Goldblum, Juliette Lewis
Wally is a sad sack stock market analyst who has a very hot best friend Kassie (Jennifer Aniston) and as can be expected, has deep-seeded feelings for her. When he discovers she is actively searching for a sperm donor to become pregnant, he is not happy with who she has picked and at her “I’m Getting Pregnant Party” (an insemination party…do people really do this? really?) he takes some “herbal” pills, gets shitfaced drunk, and in the bathroom picks up her miraculously out-in-the-open cup of sperm from the donor, Roland (Patrick Wilson). In his stupor he accidentally drops it in the sink and, thinking he can just replace the sperm with his own and no one will notice, he proceeds to spank it to a magazine cover featuring Diane Sawyer and replace said sperm. Flash to 7 years later!
Romantic comedies exist, I think, to make lonely people and women believe that there is a manufactured true love awaiting all of us. I am not bitter; no, sir, not at all. I have a girlfriend that I am very much in love with. But Van Morrison or overused Motown songs weren’t playing when I met her. Leaves weren’t falling off the trees in the park when we first kissed. My general hatred for romantic comedies attacked my thought process throughout watching this film and told me that I shouldn’t be liking it even a little bit. But I somewhat did. It’s on the strength of Jason Bateman’s performance alone that this film doesn’t make me want to punch an orphan, since his subtleties shine through even in a predictable (as most rom-coms are) script. Jennifer Aniston is the career gal who wants to start a family, much like we’ve seen a thousand times, and since she’s a decent comedic actress she does an alright job. But yes, you’ve mostly seen this film before.
The biggest problem with this film is that it asks us to accept that 7 years has passed from the time Kassie (who’s named Kassie, by the way?) gets pregnant and moves away to Michigan to the time when she moves back to New York. See, she decided to move away 2 weeks after becoming pregnant so she could raise her child someplace quiet. You know, because that’s a feasible thing to do when you’re a successful career gal and all. But when she comes back, nothing really has changed. Wally has the same job, lives in the same place. Looks the same. And so does she. Everyone does. You can’t flash that little “7 years later” title card up there and expect me not to notice when every single thing is the same. I’m just too critical of stuff like that. The only thing we see is a montage in which seasons change and some buildings get worked on, but that’s about it.
The movie is sweet and touching and definitely hits those buttons but mostly a little bit too much so. I’m not some hardened bastard to the point where I don’t get sensitive, it’s just that the cringe-meter goes a little haywire when the schmaltz is applied as heavily as it is in this film. Seeing Wally notice the little idiosyncrasies of his son compared to his own, like how they both lean their foot on a ledge or both make the same “om-nom-nom-nom” sound when they eat. Like Wally’s character he’s a hypochondriac and worries about every little thing. It’s the movie’s way of telling us that yes, this is his son, even though he cannot remember it. Wally begins to suspect that something may have happened on that night 7 years ago. When he does remember the night 7 years ago when he was piss-ass drunk after Leonard (Jeff Goldblum as, you guessed it, Jeff Goldblum) finally remembers some minute details from that night when he showed up drunk at his house, the pieces get put together.
Everything from then on involves Wally trying to muster up the courage to finally tell Kassie. And stand by while Roland, who means well but acts like a bit of a doofus, struggles to be a good father with Wally having to ironically offer him advice on raising who he believes to be his own son. Since Roland isn’t always around, Wally takes care of Sebastian (their son) and forms a bond with him although Sebastian still just thinks he’s Uncle Wally. The kid (Thomas Robinson) is actually not bad, even if most of what he is saying is there for us to go “he’s so young, how does he know that?” as is the case in most movies with tiny children.
You might enjoy this a little bit if you can get past the fact that it’s a romantic comedy. It’s charming at times and often smarter than the average bear, but it’s still sappy and manipulative and everything you probably hate about movies of its type. Watch for Jason Bateman. Stay for Jason Bateman. You’ll just end up wishing it was a little more worthy of him and his tools.
Deleted scenes, bloopers, a short featurette. An alternate ending in which 3 MORE YEARS had passed and they had a daughter together. And yes, they still looked the same. In watching the featurette, call me sexist, but I was a bit surprised that this film was directed by two men. Is it wrong for me to just automatically assume that all of these movies are directed by Nora Ephron?
Out of a Possible 5 Stars