2010-09-17 / Entertainment/Lifestyles

MovieScope

‘The Switch’- Secret Sperm
By Robert Snyder

Call it a sign of the times. Hollywood is flooding the market with “sperm donor” movies.

Following Jenifer Lopez’s “The Backup Plan” and Annette Bening-Julianne Moore’s “The Kids Are All Right” comes “The Switch,” the first film from Jennifer Aniston’s new production company, Echo Films. While “The Switch” is a Jennifer Aniston vehicle, she shrewdly lets her two male stars, “Juno’s” Jason Bateman and six-yearold Thomas Robinson, steal the show.

And it works.

Bateman’s comically neurotic Wally is the BBF of Kassie (Aniston), whose biological clock is demanding a baby, now. While Wally is the logical choice for supplier of seed, he is far too incapable of commitment to even be a no commitment biological father. Or so he thinks.

An “Insemination Party” is hosted by Kassie’s work colleague/bosom buddy, Debbie (Juliette Lewis). The computer selected Mr. Right Sperm is a blondhaired, blue-eyed jock, named Roland (Patrick Wilson), a married Columbia professor in need of some quick cash.

After Roland has shot his wad into a urine-specimen-type container in the bathroom, a drunk-and-drugged Wally wanders in and confronts the cup. Opening, analyzing and promptly spilling Roland’s precious bodily fluid, Wally has an overwhelming moment of wickedness. He replaces what was once Roland’s with his own. Staggering to sleep in the apartment of his work colleague/bosom buddy, Leonard (Jeff Goldblum), Wally buries the spermswitch secret in his subconscious.

Kassie goes away for six years, returning to the scene of the crime (Manhattan), accompanied by the product of the Insemination Party, Sebastian (Robinson).

Comically neurotic and completely adorable, Sebas-tian is unquestionably his real father’s son, right down to his hypochondria and moan while munching on food.

The boy likes almost nobody, but he loves Wally.

Complications arise when newly divorced Roland takes a shine to Kassie, edging ever closer to an engagement proposal.

What’s a non-committing neurotic to do?

The obvious is to tell the biological truth. But directors Will Speck and Josh Gordon and writer, Allan Loeb don’t have the obvious happen too fast, or “The Switch” wouldn’t stretch out to one hour and 41 minutes. This begging the-question thing places the burden of battling boredom squarely on the shoulders of Bateman and his pintsized co-star.

In fact, they are even entertaining enough to shed some stardust on the often mediocre Aniston.

Those who haven’t had their fill of sperm-donor comedies may want to try “The Switch.” Bateman and the boy wonder, Robinson, are well worth an hour and 41 minutes.

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