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The Switch

We open with a “deep and thoughtful” voiceover with Jason Bateman AKA Michael Bluth reflecting on humanity while video tapes of people in train stations get played at triple speed. Michael Bluth takes the subway and meets Jennifer Aniston for food? Someone called him a “beady-eyed little man-boy” (guess he’s still in a state of Arrested Development ““ and speaking of A.D, Michael Bluth has a picture of his scrotum on his phone, Tobias-style).

Jennifer Aniston is upset about her fertility because she is old. But she has gorgeous cervical mucus (congrats, Jen!) and Michael Bluth starts moaning over how good his food is. Jennifer Aniston has decided to have a baby with donor semen and it has nothing to do with Paul (an ex-boyfriend, I assume, but let’s pretend it’s Paul the alien from the movie Paul).

Michael Bluth offers his sperm, but Jennifer Aniston says no because Michael Bluth is too neurotic (he isn’t Woody Allen). Michael Bluth confides in Jeff Goldblum who says Jennifer Aniston wouldn’t recognize good semen if it slapped her in the face. He is definitely Goldblumming (thanks to Community for that phrase).

Jennifer Aniston’s friend, Juliette Lewis, is hating on Michael Bluth (he’s undateable!) and Jennifer Aniston is a nice person and defends him.

Juliette Lewis dances in a weird outfit in a weird way. She tries to get Michael Bluth to dance, but he says no and she calls him a “buzz kill.” That’s Michael Bluth for you! To further the buzz-killing, he tells Jennifer Aniston that the guy she’s chatting up is 1 married and 2 “Captain Douche.”

Michael Bluth gets mad at Jennifer Aniston because what if she gets sperm-donored and then meets the guy of her dreams while pregnant and everything is ruined. Well, OK, if the dude is the man of her dreams, I doubt he’ll be put off by her taking her reproductive choices into her own hands. I mean, maybe it’s old fashioned. Jennifer gets angry (with good reason) and tells him they need a break. Sexy.

Jeff Goldblum is Goldblumming and eating a chocolate bar on a treadmill. Michael Bluth gets his mail and I spy with my little eye some Netflix product placement. This movie is not yet on Netflix instant, though.  He also gets (apart from an awesome Netflix movie) an invitation to a pregnant-party, thrown by Jennifer Aniston.

At the party, Michael Bluth makes moaning noises while eating. After making a mess on himself, Michael Bluth meets Roland, the donor. Roland says he is married and can’t make ends meet because he is an assistant professor. The way he described the job, I am 99% sure the writers really meant to say “adjunct,” but this is a discussion for my Women in Academia posts and not my rom-com reviews.

Jennifer Aniston is sad in the bathroom and Michael Bluth consoles her. Fortunately, she is not mayonegging. Then she puts a crown on her sweet head to celebrate, I guess. It has flowers, so it’s very fertile. There is some weird ceremony/speech given by Juliette Lewis and Michael Bluth starts looking drunk and creepy. There is a sperm mural in the background. Tasteful. Oh, and I think some cultural appropriation. Also tasteful.

Michael Bluth is drunk and possibly on some drugs. He goes to pee and finds the donor cup. He plays with Roland’s semen and accidentally pours it down the sink. No more semen! That’s a problem. So he takes matters into his own hands, so to speak. Michael Bluth has pop-pop with himself and a New York Magazine cover.

The next day at work, Jeff Goldblum, who is apparently Michael Bluth’s boss, confronts Michael Bluth about the fact that he showed up at Goldblum’s apartment at 3 AM and threw up in his hallway. Goldblum is seriously Goldblumming during this scene.

Smash cut to ““ naked Hamlet? Why is there a naked Hamlet? Anyway, Jennifer Aniston takes the opportunity to tell Michael Bluth that she is pregnant. Eagle-eye movie-watchers would know that it’s probably Michael Bluth’s kid. Then Jennifer Aniston moved back to Minnesota and bought Michael Bluth a dog as a surprise. Michael Bluth doesn’t care for dogs and he is very sad that Jennifer Aniston is gone. They barely keep in touch. Years pass.

Michael Bluth is on a date with a pretty girl. They talk about their future, making a lot of dark jokes, and it sounds like they just stole the plot of Mad Men. Michael Bluth takes it too far and the date is over. At least his sweater is nice. “Just shut up and smile ““ no good ever comes from talking,” he says to himself and then! He checks his phone and Jennifer Aniston is moving back! Oh glorious day!

Jennifer Aniston named her kid Sebastian and he collects picture frames but doesn’t put pictures in them. He’s only like 7, but he sounds like a future Manic Pixie Dream Dude. They agree to meet up. And Michael Bluth is overcome with emotion when he sees Jennifer Aniston again. I really wish Sebastian was played by Michael Cera, but instead, it’s just a little kid who is both precocious and sad. He doesn’t eat ducks (because he confused duck and foie gras, but it’s OK), and apparently, he likes the picture frames for the pictures that come in those frames.

Sebastian is making moaning food noises, just like Michael Bluth. MAYBE MICHAEL BLUTH IS HIS FATHER?! Neither one cares for each other after their initial meeting. Jennifer Aniston doesn’t seem to do much parenting (but she is an awesome parent). And she makes some questionable choices, re letting her kid just go into random buildings alone and not really explaining how reproduction works (even though he can use WebMD and can probably figure out that the stories she tells are, well, stories).

Roland and Jennifer Aniston are still in touch. Roland is now divorced because his wife cheated on him and now he can’t trust again. Poor Roland. Jennifer Aniston tells Roland she wants to be able to talk to him about Sebastian.  Roland welcomes this.

From this point on, I watched the movie at 1.5 speed.

Speed penguins! Sebastian and Michael Bluth are at the aquarium. Nice choice, Michael Bluth. Sebastian and Michael Bluth have a very depressing conversation about aging and having your dreams die. Sebastian responds with his worries about Parkinson’s. They are so similar ““ is it genetics?!

Sebastian’s getting bullied at school. Just like Michael Bluth (are they related?!). Michael Bluth gives Sebastian some advice ““ act like a “crazy” person and the bully will leave him alone. On the bus ride back, a nice woman tells Michael Bluth that Sebastian looks just like him. Michael Bluth says “that’s not my son.” OR IS IT??

Sebastian and Jennifer Aniston do cute mother-son things and then Michael and Jennifer reconnect on the couch. Not sexually. With photographs and memories.

Michael Bluth starts worrying that Sebastian is actually his kid. He calls Jeff Goldblum (who is NOT made for 1.5 speed) to ask about that night he got drunk and went to that pregnancy party. Jeff Goldblum tries to fill in the holes. Michael freaks out and goes to Jennifer Aniston’s apartment to talk about what had happened with the semen at the pregnancy party.

Michael starts to unburden himself and Jennifer Aniston cuts him off because she assumes he has feelings for her. Michael says “not exactly” and Jennifer Aniston gets embarrassed and tells Michael that she is sort of seeing Roland the donor. Michael chases Jennifer back to her apartment, and Sebastian invites him to his birthday party.

Roland is very energetic and enthusiastic and into rock climbing. Two out of these three things may be enhanced by the 1.5 speed. Roland pressures Sebastian into rock climbing. Sebastian gets really scared. He gets stuck and Roland rescues him against his will. Sebastian throws a fit, tells Roland he doesn’t like him and then goes to hold Michael Bluth’s hand. Roland sees and gets jealous and then takes Michael out for drinks (thank god Maggie Lies-er-ass-off isn’t around).

Roland confides in Michael that Sebastian hates Roland and Roland can’t relate to Sebastian because Sebastian is neurotic. Michael Bluth explains that neuroticism is like introspection, in an attempt to make things work. Roland reveals that the divorce was very recent and his thing with Jennifer Aniston might be a rebound. Ruh roh.

Michael Bluth tells Jeff Goldblum that he has feelings for Jennifer Aniston. Serendipity takes over and Jennifer Aniston calls Michael Bluth to tell him that Sebastian has lice and she is out at Casa La Rustic Sex with Roland in Michigan, so he needs to take care of Sebastian. So Michael Bluth does. He cleans Sebastian and picks out his lice.

Michael Bluth tucks Sebastian in and asks him why he doesn’t put his own pictures in the picture frames he collects. Sebastian has made up stories about the people in the picture frames, creating them into imaginary friends and family. This is where we feel sad for Sebastian about not having a dad in his life, according to the movie. Michael Bluth and Sebastian bond.

Jennifer Aniston walks in on Michael Bluth and Sebastian making pancakes. She tells Michael Bluth that she wants to move in with Roland. Michael Bluth and Jennifer Aniston fight about it, but Michael Bluth doesn’t mention any of the “I love you and am the father of your kid” stuff and then Roland ruins the moment.

We get a montage of Michael Bluth’s life that ends with Sebastian running to Michael Bluth’s apartment after getting into a physical fight with the bully at a party. Sebastian found Michael Bluth because he thought Michael Bluth would be proud of him for fighting. When Michael Bluth brought Sebastian to Jennifer Aniston’s place, he sees that Roland’s family is over for brunch.  Roland tells Michael Bluth that he wants to propose and Michael Bluth decides he has to talk to her. Right when he’s about to, Roland calls Jennifer Aniston over for some wild proposing.

Right when he’s about to do it, Michael Bluth confesses that Sebastian is his kid. And then gives a big romantic speech and talks about how much he loves/needs Jennifer Aniston and Sebastian. And then he cries, just like at the end of Arrested Development. Jennifer Aniston smacks his face. Sebastian gives him a bag of peas. Michael leaves to go find Jeff Goldblum and tell him what he did.

More montages (what is it with montages and rom-coms? Hm??) and we see both Jennifer Aniston and Michael Bluth being thoughtful and morose as they go about their mundane lives. One day, Jennifer Aniston shows up at Michael Bluth’s place of work, and tells him that she’s over Roland and she wants Michael Bluth to be in her life and Sebastian’s life. Michael Bluth then asks Jennifer Aniston if she would marry him and she says “probably,” which is a pretty honest response.

Jeff Goldblum plays the piano at Sebastian’s birthday party. And so ends the film.

I would give this movie a veggie Subway sandwich in a land of New York delis. It’s pretty average, but surprisingly low on romance.

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