The Switch: Good Acting, Bad, Bad Writing

'The film offers few—make that no—surprises'
By Emily Rauhala,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 20, 2010 6:42 AM CDT
Updated Aug 20, 2010 9:24 AM CDT
The Switch: Good Acting, Bad, Bad Writing
Jason Bateman, left, and Jennifer Aniston in "The Switch."   (AP Photo/Miramax Films-Disney, Macall Polay)

Fine acting by Jason Bateman and Jennifer Aniston can't save The Switch. The film, an adaptation of a short story published in the New Yorker, promises an off-beat take on parenthood, but delivers a formulaic, and not-so-funny, rom-com plot. Here, the lackluster reviews:

  • "When you laugh at a line in The Switch, the laughter contains an element of surprise: Wow, I can't believe a character in this movie said something funny," writes Dana Stevens for Slate.

  • It's true—the writing is really that bad, writes Mick La Salle for the San Francisco Chronicle. "Think of The Switch as a picnic. Aniston and Bateman each bring a rare Bordeaux, and the writers bring Spam on white bread. You can skip the picnic or show up and have a glass of wine."
  • Thank goodness, indeed, for Aniston and Bateman, notes Peter Travers for Rolling Stone. "The film offers few—make that no—surprises. What almost saves it is the acting."
  • But Owen Gleiberman isn't overly down on it. "The Switch is a pleasant surprise. It's a by-the-numbers movie, but the dots that get connected feel new," he writes for Entertainment Weekly.
(Read more The Switch movie review stories.)

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