August: Osage County, adapted by Tracy Letts from his own Pulitzer Prize winning play, has awards bait written all over it, from its spectacular ensemble cast to its succession of ravaging put downs. It’s a shame, then, that the force and effectiveness of the film, then, is let down by drab, staid direction and a tendency to be as boisterous and melodramatic as possible where a little more poignancy would have better done the trick. Continue reading “Review: August: Osage County (2013)”
Originally titled The Baster, The Switch is an indie romantic-drama from the mind of Allan Loeb, who previously wrote screenplay’s for Things We Lost in the Fire and 21, and is loosely based on a short story by Jeffrey Eugenides.
The film centers on the overly anxious, perplexing and irritating Wally, who’s unmarried 40-year-old best friend, Kassie (Aniston), turns to a turkey baster in order to become pregnant. After moving to Michigan to raise her child, Kassie returns and reunites with Wally, who has been living with a secret: he replaced her preferred sperm sample with his own.
The Switch, which most would label as a female-centred rom-com, instead switches the focus onto the male’s point-of-view. It ponders serious, life-changing questions about pregnancy and fatherhood, in a heartfelt and humorous way. Bateman plays the role of Wally perfectly, highlighting his charming, wry personality in an endearing and well-natured way, showing Bateman has what it takes to carry a high-profile comedy film.
Aniston, in a much-welcomed departure from her previous films, holds her own, providing an appealing, yet restrained performance as a single mother, letting audiences see why she was Hollywood’s sweetheart in the first place. Jeff Goldbum and Juliette Lewis shine in their limited roles, each embodying their characters to the best of their ability, while never outshining the central leads.
Despite the source material being predictable, and the sometimes cringeworthy dialogue, the directors – Will Speck and Josh Gordon – manage to keep the film on track, heading toward an ultimate goal, maintaining the message throughout and never letting the films throwaway moments overshadow the light-hearted, rather brilliant ones that some critics seem to be ignoring.
The Switch may not break any boundaries, or attract a particularly wide audience, but it’s surprisingly funny and sufficiently light-hearted take on an often bland genre. Bateman proves himself as a male lead, while Aniston proves there’s more to her acting range than silly, generic comedies.