Switch, The

MPAA Rating: PG-13

Entertainment: +3

Content: -3

Main actors: Jason Bateman, Jennifer Aniston, Jeff Goldblum, Thomas Robinson, Patrick Wilson. Directors: Josh Gordon and Will Speck.

FILM SYNOPSIS: Kassie (Jennifer Aniston) and Wally (Jason Bateman) have been best friends for years, and when she announces she wants to have a baby and is going to advertise for a donor, he advises her not to do it. Then he receives an invitation to a “get pregnant party” from Kassie, introducing her married donor-to-be, Roland (Patrick Wilson), to her New York City friends. It’s not long until Kassie is pregnant. She returns to her parents in Minnesota until her son, Sebastian (Thomas Robinson), is five years old, when she moves back to New York. Wally is delighted until he learns Roland is now divorced and wanting to be a real father to Sebastian. The problem is that Wally, in a drunken stupor at the party, managed to substitute his semen for Roland’s.

PREVIEW REVIEW: In our current society of sexual freedom, single women desperate to become mothers put their own emotional needs first and blot out any concern about a child’s need for a family. Kassie’s choice of a donor wasn’t based on providing a loving or any other kind of father; in fact she is relieved that Roland is married. He’s also smart, nice looking and a college professor – perfect material for a perfect child, right? Hopefully, the reality of such an arrangement will poke through the clever dialogue and well-acted script. Sebastian’s insecurity, his longing for a family and his growing attachment to Wally invoke some emotional reactions from sensitive viewers.

Explicit dialogue and action describe the insemination process without nudity, slang or obscene terms. Nevertheless, most traditional viewers will find the subject shocking in a PG-13 film. More offensive is Wally’s drunkenness, which is so severe he cannot remember “the switch.” Once reality sinks in five years later, he truly regrets his past mistake. A completely gratuitous party scene includes brief rear and frontal male nudity, and drugs and drinking seem to be essential elements for social success. A few crude words, exclamatory profanities and one s-word clutter the dialogue.

On the plus side, young Sebastian fills a huge hole of insecurity and loneliness in Wally as they bond in their time together. Kassie discovers the rewards and hardships of motherhood and the importance of family. It’s interesting and revealing that trailers and video clips don’t include scenes with Sebastian. Clearly, the film makers want to attract wider audiences by downplaying any hint of promoting family values, but it’s there.

Preview Reviewer: Mary Draughon

The following categories contain objective listings of film content which contribute to the subjective numeric Content ratings posted to the left and on the Home page.

Crude Language: Few crude words (ass 1)

Obscene Language: Few (s-word, crap)

Profanity: Exclamatory (omG 2)

Violence: None

Sex: No sex, but the subject of artificial insemination described and a fairly graphic depiction of the process without nudity

Nudity: Once - graphic male frontal and rear (man at club, high on drugs)

Sexual Dialogue/Gesture: None

Drugs: Few times (drunkenness, drug use at parties, some social drinking without drunkenness)

Other: Family values win big time over selfish desires; little boy helps man heal his insecurities

Running Time: 90 minutes
Intended Audience: Adults

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