“The Switch” received mixed reviews, but we think it was a strong outing for Aniston, who appears as Kassie Larson, a single woman who decides to have a baby through a sperm donor. Though Kassie originally vetoed her best friend Wally Mars (Jason Bateman) from being the donor, an accident leads to him swapping out his sperm for the donor sperm. Yes, it is all very icky, but it is also a decently cute romantic comedy with strong performances from Aniston, Bateman, and a supporting cast that includes Patrick Wilson, Jeff Goldblum, and Juliette Lewis.
Minnesota Star Tribune movie critic Tom Horgen wrote that “Aniston and Bateman find a funny chemistry together, and the film’s bemusing setup unfolds with wit and charm.” In the San Francisco Chronicle, Mike LaSalle wrote that “Jennifer Aniston brings certain things to movies: A relaxed yet spontaneous comic ability. An attentiveness to the other actors that is rare in its focus. A quality of stumbling humanity that is making a nice transition from youth to middle age, backed by another quality — the glowing sanity of someone old enough to know her place in the universe and the importance of other people.”
Some felt the role and the movie lacked depth, and others felt the content came too close to Aniston’s own “single gal” tabloid persona (see Slate’s review, for example). But overall, if there was any recurring critique of Aniston, it was that she was playing into type. “Aniston has been playing Aniston for so long now that it seems she’s incapable of anything else,” wrote Marc Savlov in The Austin Chronicle. “She’s a genre unto herself.” But then again, why is that a bad thing?