The Switch:: Very Sweet and Funny

At the Arclight Pasadena an usher introduces the movie.  At all Arclight theaters they do this, but I saw The Swith at the Arclight in Pasadena because I live in Pasadena.  Our usher told us that she’d seen The Swith and liked it much more than she thought she would.  I thought, “Really?  Because the ads look pretty straight forward.”  I was right.  Fortunately, I expected to like it and I did, very much (but not more than I expected to).  It was charming and funny and realistic despite a fairly unrealistic premis: guy and girl best friends for six years, she wants a baby and hires a donor, guy gets really drunk at the incemination party and accientally dumps sperm of said donor and has to improvise.  It was well written and Jason Bateman walked that thin line of bieng a loveable pesimistic weirdo.  He wasn’t really that weird, but a lot of characters in the moive seemed to think he was.  Which I find odd because Jeff Goldblum was in it.  A lot of the time Mr. Goldblum is wonderfully crazy and other times he’s just plain crazy.  There were a couple of times I felt he was just doing a Jeff Goldblum impression, it was so over the top.  But still I only rolled my eyes once.  Jason Bateman’s character was cynical, pesimistic, uptight, repressed and a hypocondriac.  I think he only smiled like three times in the whole movie.  I loved him.  I related to him more than her in the movie, but I kinda think you are meant to.  A lot of quirky characters don’t actually act quirky, the other characters in the movie just keep calling them that.  But Bateman was complicated and you get why he’s not been snatched up by a woman yet.

Jennifer Anniston was adorable and has aquired this lovely saddness and maturity.  She is no bubble head, she has depth and I really like her for it.  A suprising realization I had was in a scene with Jennifer and Juliet Lewis.  Know what it was?  Juliet was once engaged to Brad Pitt.  In fact he was her date to the Oscars the year she was nominated for Cape Fear and wore those hideous corn rows.  I wondered what it was like on set.  Did they ever talk about it?  I can’t imagine why they would, but still I found myself wondering.

I can’t stand overly cute kids in films but this little guy just breaks your heart with that serious tone that he talks with and those HUGE brown eyes.  He’s also really tiny, adding to the comedy of his seriousness.  At one point Jason Bateman very solemnly tells him what hypochondria is and the child looks shocked and upset, “(gasp) I have that.”  As cliche as that line could have been the child delivers it unlike an excitable child, but like an adult realizing that there is a name for how he feels.

The music was predictable, but still liked it very much.  Most of the movie was predictable, even the end, but I still liked all of it very much.  I even laughed out loud a few times, despite the fact that I rarely do that at this type of movie.  This isn’t the kind of movie you go for if you want a surpise ending, it’s one you go for to see these characters, hear the funny lines, and to have your heart warmed, so to speak.  I think that’s why romantic comedies, aka chick flicks, get so little respect.  They aren’t about surprising you or at least not plotwise, which might make them seem pointless.  Maybe they surprise the heart, you feel things watching them.  My husband always gets on my case for imagining that songs are relating to me, or my current situation when we listen to music together.  I think that is how a lot of us women experience art, by imagining ourselves in the places of people in the art we are experiencing. I usually identify with the woman, but I think I was Jason Bateman in this movie.

There was a little trick I have always enjoyed where they pan across the city and we watch the sun rise and set really fast, seasons go by and suddenly it’s years later.  I’m not being sarcastic here, I really do love that.  The movie was set in New York and they filmed for the most part in the big apple, but there was one scene that had to be LA, because I recognized an extra from back in my background acting days.  A sweet older gentleman named Bob who has been on Scrubs for years, known affectionately as “Colonel Dr.” for looking like Colonel Sanders.  Had to give a shout out to one of my uncredited peeps, what up Bob?!

I do recommend this movie, but only if you don’t care about knowing the ending from the previews or enjoy incredibly funny dialogue or find Jennifer Anniston or Jason Bateman charming, because they are that in spades in this movie.

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