The movie this week is The Switch, starring Jennifer Aniston and Jason Bateman who play best friends who unwittingly have a child together. It’s your typical formulaic, traditional fairy tale. Boy meets girl, boy and girl become best friends. Boy switches out the donor’s sperm for his sperm at girl’s insemination party. Boy comes back seven years later and reveals he’s the father. You know the normal stuff Middle-America is totally comfortable with.
Aniston plays a single woman who decides to have a baby on her own. This is now being called by the “Pro Choice Left” being a “Choice Mother” (barf) Bateman is her best friend who is in love with her and substitutes the donor sperm she paid big bucks for with his own while he is in a drunken stupor at her “Insemination Party.” I know: this kind of thing happens all the time. I can’t tell you how many of my friends ended up with different “baby-daddys” at their insemination parties than they intended. Just in case you’re not hip, an insemination party is a get together wherein Aniston’s friends are gathered around her having a wild party while she goes “turkey baster” on herself: don’t worry. As tacky as New York and Jennifer Aniston may be, my research showed, these parties do not really exist…YET.
Hollywood obviously wants to show films of alternative lifestyles so that these lifestyles can be normalized. But in spite of itself, Hollywood can’t seem to prevent the truth from leaking out that normal families are what people really want. Children ideally need a father. Between About a Boy, The Kids are all Right and The Switch, I’m seeing a very subtle pro father trend coming out of Hollywood. Come to think of it, a single mother raised one of film’s most iconic villains: Norman Bates—wait, come to think of it, Darth Vader was raised by a single mother too!
Under the guise of being pro single mother, these movies are actually pro father: each one of them has children who are empty or directionless until they find their fathers and become whole. Or the child never finds his father and becomes a Psycho killer or tries to take over the universe. The Backup Plan and Knocked Up have women who are pregnant and directionless themselves until they have the man agree to be an active father in the lives of their future children. It makes me wonder: is Hollywood unwittingly becoming pro family? Hollywood might do the impossible eventually: make a pro mother movie: a movie where a woman gives up her career, gets married to a normal guy who is nice to her and responsible and stays at home with her child because her child needs her full time after she chooses to have that child through marriage.
The Switch is full of impossibly ridiculous situations and improbabilities: the child has blue-eyed parents and wound up with brown eyes. A drunken man in his forties produces sperm while watching Diane Sawyer for “stimulation!” Diane Sawyer? Really? Megyn Kelly for sure! Greta Van Susteren maybe but Diane Sawyer? Huh? Most guys that I know would be more aroused by Chris Matthews.
The acting performances in The Switch are very good. It’s nice to see Juliette Lewis and Jeff Goldblum working again in minor roles. I actually really enjoyed the movie in spite of its completely unrealistic EVERYTHING! I’ll give The Switch three out of five Finis. Your disbelief may be a challenge to suspend during this movie but it is an enjoyable ride.