Before I even start the review for Family Switch, I want you to know that the critics have panned this movie.
Clearly, they thought they were about to watch a Palme d'Or winner and not a fun, family comedy on Netflix.
Like other films that have felt the wrath of critics, audiences love it and sent it straight into the number one spot on Netflix around the world.
So if you want a bit of festive cheer, genuine laugh-out-loud moments, and an all-round feel-good hour and a half, then Family Switch could be for you.
What Is Family Switch About?
Jess (Jennifer Garner) and Bill Walker (Ed Helm) lead a seemingly ordinary life. With their three kids, CC (Emma Myers), Wyatt (Brady Noon), and baby Miles, they live in a quiet LA suburb.
They face the usual issues where none of them quite know how much pressure the others are under, and despite all doing their best, as two hard-working parents, raising two teenagers and a baby comes with its challenges.
Jess has the presentation of a lifetime at work – one that could finally get her promoted.
Bill is about to reunite with his teenage band for a live TV performance, CC is a soccer star who is about to be scouted for the National team and Wyatt has an interview for early acceptance into Yale.
However, the night before all of these big events, they embark on a family outing to a local planetarium. There, a chance encounter with a mysterious woman named Angelica leads to a fateful photograph.
When they wake up the next morning, they are shocked to discover that their bodies have been switched.
Jess finds herself in the body of 17-year-old soccer star CC, while Bill inhabits the 13-year-old body of Wyatt. Even their youngest son, Miles, and their dog, Pickles, have swapped places.
Intrigued and bewildered, the Walkers set out to make sense of their predicament. The family decides to return to the planetarium, where they learn that the telescope is under repair.
With no other options, the Walkers must navigate the challenges of their switched lives and learn to walk in each other's shoes. Of course, this is a comedy, so absolutely nothing goes right for any of them.
But as they start to gain new perspectives on each other's lives, the kids learn about the sacrifices their parents make and the adults learn that being a teenager isn't as easy as they remember.
So can they get back to the planetarium and switch back? Or will they be stuck this way forever?
Family Switch Official Trailer
Is Family Switch Worth Watching?
From the off, this film knows exactly what it is. And it knows that the ‘body switch' trope has been used before – A LOT.
So much so that's there a great meta moment when the cast starts listing all of the movies such as Freaky Friday, 13 Going on 30, and Big.
So while acknowledging that no new ground is being broken here, it's free to go on a really funny journey with genuine laugh-out-loud moments – though these are largely generated by the baby and the dog switch.
Jennifer Garner and Ed Helms are fantastic as Jess and Bill Walker and get that perfect balance of being both endearing and funny when playing their teenagers.
So too are Emma Myers and Brady Noon who, unlike most movie teenagers, are actually relatable and sweet.
If there was a criticism it would be that director McG probably tried too hard to squeeze more storylines in than necessary.
It was admirable to try to give each of the characters their own well-thought-out perspective but it means that everything feels incredibly rushed.
That said, it's a minor complaint in what is otherwise a terrifically funny family film. Everybody can enjoy it, making it quite unique these days.
So for that reason, it gets a definite thumbs up.
Cast Of Family Switch Movie
Jennifer Garner (The Last Thing He Told Me) as Jess, mum to three children who swaps bodies with her teenage daughter.
Ed Helms (Vacation) as Bill, married to Jess and a music teacher at the local high school.
Emma Myers (Wednesday) as CC, Jess and Bill's daughter
Brady Noon as Wyatt, the teenage son
Rita Moreno as Angelica, the mysterious stranger responsible for the switch
Matthias Schweighöfer as Rolf, the neighbour who looks after the baby and dog.
Vanessa Carrasco as Ariana
Fortune Feimster as Coach Kim
Cyrus Arnold as Hunter Drew
Ilia Isorelýs Paulino as Kara
Paul Scheer as Steven
Howie Mandel as Barry
Patrick Wilson as Patrick
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