All the elements of a conventional romcom are present in The Switch. Besties Wally (Bateman) and Kassie (Aniston) are clearly meant to be together, but only he can see that, and he’s too cowardly to risk saying it aloud. Each has a wisecracking friend (Goldblum and Lewis respectively) to provide the big guffaws. Everyone has thriving careers that allow them to live in unbelievably spacious digs in New York City. Everything is filmed in bright light with a high polish so that no cracks appear in the happy shiny-people facade. All pretty straightforward, until Wally drunkenly swaps his sperm for that of the donor (Wilson) Kassie has asked to help with her artificial insemination. It’s like a romcom set on Bizarro World.
And that’s just the setup. The rest of the movie is set seven years later, when Kassie, who fled the city shortly after getting pregnant, returns with her son Sebastian, whose severe neuroses, posture and habit of humming while he eats all indicate pretty clearly who his daddy is. Wally, we must accept, has blacked out the whole seed-swap incident and only gradually comes to realize what he has done. Then the movie goes all About a Boy as Wally overcomes his own neuroses by being a surrogate dad to the kid he knows, but Kassie doesn’t, is his biological offspring. Gordon and Speck (Blades of Glory) never quite figure out how to sell such weird material, but their choice to treat it as if it’s nothing strange actually kind of works. Only inherently appealing actors like Bateman and Aniston could sell such surreal material. And, by God, they almost do.