Summary: An uptight man stuck in the “friend zone” switches another man’s semen for his own when his “friend” decides to get pregnant via artificial insemination. Upon meeting his child, the man becomes less uptight, his “friend” finally falls in love with him, and they live happily ever after despite his huge violation of her trust.
Verdict: In the friend zone. There were some cute moments between the main guy and the kid, but there was too much crap about how awful it is to be in the friend zone. Also, the big plot point (the semen switch) was a major violation played off as something the main female could just get over through the power of love. She’s also an annoying character, so there’s that, too.
Full Recap: The Switch begins by introducing Michael Bluth in the lead role as Wally, who is basically the same character but with hypochondria. Seriously, Wally even has daddy issues like Michael Bluth.
Wally is narrating images of happy couples and depressed single people (like there’s any other type of single person, amirite?) with advice about love not being like a pop song and how sometimes it happens in a completely unexpected way.
The action then starts up when Wally goes to meet with his “friend,” Cassie, played by Jennifer Aniston. We put “friend” in quotes because this is not Wally’s real friend, because, you see, Wally is in the “friend zone” and is basically hanging around Cassie in the hopes that he’ll wear her down into going out with him.
News flash, dear readers, you are not a real friend if you do this.
So, Cassie says that she is going to get pregnant by a sperm donor because a gynecologist gave her an apparently unsolicited lecture on her failing fertility (no competent gynecologist would do this ever). Naturally, Wally is not a fan of Cassie receiving sperm from any man other than him because he feels he has a claim on her.
Of course, he doesn’t say this last part. Instead he tells her that no one will date a woman with a kid and then locks her on the balcony like a misbehaving dog when she flirts with another man. But we can read between the lines.
Nevertheless, Cassie wants Wally to help her find a sperm donor for some reason. Wally is resistant and eventually Cassie gets fed up with his attitude and goes to her new age-y female friend, who is apparently the only other friend of any gender that Cassie has.
Meanwhile, Wally’s friend, Jeff Goldblum, consoles him about being in the friend zone and how it’s devaluing him as a man for Cassie to just want to talk rather than bone. But Wally can’t derail Cassie’s plans that easily; the new age friend turns out to actually be helpful and supportive, so before you know it, Cassie is throwing an insemination party!
As an olive branch, Cassie invites Wally to her party and he attends only to wander around and talk to everyone except Cassie for most of the party. For instance, he meets the donor, Roland, and feels the need to emphasize his prior claim on Cassie. Roland also looks strikingly like Gob Bluth, so this is an interesting turn of events.
At the party Wally also runs into Cassie’s new age friend who gives him “herbal meds” to relax. When he finally does find Cassie, she’s sad and scared because she’s worried about making the right choice. Wally does some half-assed comforting and then leaves to go the bathroom.
By this time, Wally is feeling the effects of the herbal meds and is acting either high or drunk or a combination of both. In his impaired state, he finds Roland’s semen in a jar and begins toying with it over the sink, pretending to pour it out and then stopping at the last minute. Then a knock at the door startles him and he dumps it in the sink.
So, obviously, the only solution is to find a magazine with a picture of Diane Sawyer and jack off into the jar. There’s no point in going out to Roland (still in the living room) and asking him to donate again or telling Cassie or anything.
Now, some of you might think, “yeah, but he was drunk/high! He didn’t know what he was doing! This isn’t malicious!” But think of what we know about Wally so far: he’s passive-aggressively possessive of Cassie, he was against this pregnancy thing from the start, and he’s obviously jealous of Roland even though Roland is married. We think the drunk/high is just a movie excuse for Wally to get what Wally really wants.
Going along with the theme of convenient excuses for Wally, when he wakes up the next morning, he doesn’t remember anything about it. Jeff Goldblum says he was ranting about Diane Sawyer for a while, but that’s the only clue he has.
So, the movie moves on. Cassie gets pregnant and decides to leave her job and move to Minnesota to be with her family. In return, she gets Wally a dog. Wally hates the dog, and it doesn’t really make any further appearance in the movie. We hope it isn’t dead.
Seven years later Cassie comes back to the city, and Wally is waiting. The immediately have dinner despite the fact that they’ve barely talked in the past seven years. Cassie brings her son Sebastian to this dinner, and Wally spends a lot of money to order a whole cooked duck that is delivered with the head still attached. Ah yes, the food beloved by six year olds across America.
The kid refuses to eat it, obviously, and, through the course of the dinner, he also exhibits many of the same quirks that Wally has demonstrated, including hypochondria. Cassie thinks it’s quirky and adorable, but she doesn’t make the connection to Wally. If she had, this movie would have thankfully been much shorter.
Afterwards, Cassie reveals that she is going to meet with Roland, who she presumes is the father of her child. Wally deliberately brings up Roland’s wife, but, lo and behold, he’s divorced now so he can act as romantic competition for Wally.
All aboard the train to Jealousy Town!
Wally goes back to his life as a depressed single person until he gets aroused while watching Diane Sawyer. This somehow leads him to the conclusion that he is Sebastian’s father, confirmed when he calls Jeff Goldblum and gets him to talk about exactly what Wally was saying the night of the insemination party.
To his credit, Wally rushes immediately to Cassie’s house to come clean. But he takes such a long time getting to the point that Cassie starts talking about an “energy” between them in what sounds to us like the beginnings of a gentle rejection, but to Wally sounds like “you have a chance with me!”
Wally’s confession is even further derailed when Cassie reveals that she and Roland are kinda dating.
So, after arguing with Cassie some, Wally decides to drop the issue for now and instead go to Sebastian’s birthday party. There, he wants to talk to Cassie about the “energy” comment, but it’s her kid’s birthday party and she doesn’t want to deal with it.
Instead, Cassie despairs about Sebastian wanting to hold his party at a dog shelter to encourage his guests to adopt dogs bound for euthanasia. Silly us, we thought compassion was a good thing in a child.
Meanwhile, Roland predictably fails to connect with Sebastian while Wally is a master at it. So, Roland tries to befriend Wally in order to understand Sebastian more. Wally resents this and complains to Jeff Goldblum.
Roland is having no problems connecting with Cassie, though, and they go off to spend a weekend in a cabin he owns. He’s also trying to get Cassie to move in with him. Cassie is seriously considering this despite the fact that forcing her already sensitive son to live with a man he dislikes and who may leave them at any time is a very very bad idea.
But don’t worry! The movie punishes Cassie for picking the wrong man when Sebastian gets lice while she’s at the cabin, and she has to call Wally to come take care of it. The ensuing scene is very cute as Sebastian and Wally bond over lice shampoo and washing sheets. They also discuss how much they wish they knew their fathers. It’s pretty much the only part of the movie that didn’t make us cringe.
When Cassie comes back, Wally is given another opportunity to just blurt out the truth of Sebastian’s parentage, but instead he uses the time to be jealous over Roland.
Naturally, this goes straight into a montage about how sad Wally is, ending with Sebastian showing up with a black eye at Wally’s door. He got into a fight with a bully using a technique Wally suggested: acting so crazy the bully won’t want to fight you. This strategy obviously failed.
Wally then brings Sebastian home, where Roland’s entire family has gathered to meet Cassie and Sebastian. Roland almost immediately tells Wally that he’s going to propose to Cassie any minute now.
Wally tries to talk to Cassie beforehand, but he is too spineless to assert himself enough to get her to agree to talk privately. So, Wally, he of the brilliant plans, decides to just blurt it all out right in front of all Roland’s family and right in the middle of Roland’s proposal speech.
Cassie, understandably, reacts badly to this news. She smacks Wally across the face and tell him never to speak to her again before storming out (this blog does not endorse violence perpetrated against anyone, but Wally kinda had that coming).
Wally, distraught, goes to Jeff Goldblum for comfort and approval (because Jeff is the father figure in Wally’s life), and Jeff says that he’s proud of Wally for doing the right thing. This doesn’t comfort Wally as much as he’d hoped because he still misses Cassie and Sebastian.
With the second actually meaningful scene behind us, the rest is all predictable wrap up. There’s a brief montage of Sad!Wally and Sad!Cassie before Cassie shows up to ask Wally to come back and reluctantly confess her love.
Then everything is rainbows and puppies and laughter and everyone just forgives everyone for violations of trust and false friendships. Because that’s what this movie is about: a guy who hung around a woman until she relinquished her feminine naivety and realized that he was the best thing to ever happen to her.
Please, ladies and gentlemen, know that this movie is complete and utter bullshit.