"The Switch" is the sort of romantic comedy which if you haven't watched many movies starring Jason Bateman or Jennifer Aniston will probably end up really enjoyable. But then if you have "The Switch" ends up another familiar comedy which throws little in the way of originality at you when it comes to how things play out or the comedy and has both Bateman and Aniston playing characters similar to those they have done before and given. It makes what could have been a genuinely funny and sweet movie just another romantic comedy because the one original idea is treated in an unoriginal manner.
Kassie Larson (Jennifer Aniston - Love Happens) has decided that she wants a child and whilst she would like to do it the old fashioned route her body clock is ticking and so has decided to go down the sperm donor route much to the bemusement of her best friend Wally Mars (Jason Bateman - Couples Retreat). Despite trying to talk her out of it Kassie throws an insemination party after meeting Roland (Patrick Wilson), the perfect sperm donor except in a moment of drunkenness Wally accidentally drops Roland's jar of sperm down the sink and decides to replace it with his own. 7 years later and Kassie having left New York to raise her child returns with her boy Sebastian (Thomas Robinson) who Wally notices not only looks a little like him but has the same persona and mannerisms.
As ideas go I like the one behind "The Switch", oh you could say it is a lot of unbelievable nonsense but it is at least a more original idea as whilst there have been other movies which have mentioned artificial insemination none to my knowledge have done sperm switching. The trouble is that this original idea has been turned in to an unoriginal movie which whilst still fun never rises above being ordinary because everything about it is so familiar and predictable. Now there is a place for predictable, romantic comedies are genuinely that place because you want a movie which delivers what you expect rather than to be challenged but the idea to "The Switch" is one which could have been turned into something more imaginative.
As to that familiarity, well yes there is the obviousness as to how this will all turn out as Wally not only realises he is Sebastian's father but also loves Kassie but there is also the start which seems to try hard to mirror "Love Actually" with a supposedly deep, thoughtful narration. But then there is the familiarity of the humour and every single joke, be it Wally's drunken sperm accident to a gag about how he and Sebastian have the same quirks end up all so ordinary, yes they still make you smile but you feel you've seen it all before. And that comes from the simple fact that Jason Bateman is playing the sort of character he has done before as is Jennifer Aniston and it just causes "The Switch" to get swallowed up in this huge globule of modern romantic comedies where the same old faces play the same old characters.
The one thing which "The Switch" has going for it is that it is sweet, but not in the romantic sense because again the romance side is as unoriginal as the rest of the movie. Nope it is sweet because there is this brilliant bond between Thomas Robinson who plays young Sebastian and Jason Bateman. It is just cute how they end up getting on especially in the scene where Wally ends up looking after Sebastian and has to deal with head lice.
What this all boils down to is that "The Switch" whilst having a good idea ends up an unoriginal movie because it is full of so many familiar things from jokes to characters. It's not a terrible movie but just an ordinary one because it is so familiar.