Written by on January 3, 2024

We have all had the dream of being a different age at some point in our lives. We either spent our youth waiting to be older or our adult life wishing we were younger. The grass can look greener on the other side of the age fence. What’s funny is we eventually realize we were wrong for one reason or another. Hollywood has toyed with the concept of the “age switch” for years along with the “body switch”. People switching bodies with someone else has been the oldest trope, but then things changed when Disney gave us the classic Freaky Friday where a mom and daughter switched bodies and had to live the other’s lives. Every decade or so there is a new movie that examines this event to humorous levels. In the late 80s it seemed they couldn’t get enough of these types of movies. Netflix decided to throw their hat in the ole switch-a-roo ring with “Family Switch” that takes it to the next logical limit.

“Family Switch” sees the Walker family gearing up for Christmas. While mom and dad – Jess and Bill want the kids to be involved with the family shenanigans the kids just want to be left alone and immersed in their electronic devices. Jennifer Garner, as Jess and Ed Helms, as Bill are really some great parents that love their kids. Jess is a very successful marketing exec with her biggest sale on the line while Bill is a high school band teacher that is in a dad themed band that has a chance to appear on a national TV show. Their children are baby Miles, their son Wyatt (Brady Noon) and CC (Emma Myers). Wyatt is a bit introverted, but is extremely intelligent and plans to go to Yale at an early age. CC is a soccer phenom with a chance to get recruited to a national team. All of these important moments are happening simultaneously for each family member. As the story unfolds, we see why there is some disconnect between each family member with Jess being too controlling with CC and Bill expecting Wyatt to be more socially active. The family goes out on a family evening to see a planetary alignment and they make the mistake of all mistakes of these movies: wishing they could switch places with the other. This is the first time one of these movies has done this type of switch on such a level. They even have the baby and the family dog switch bodies! The next few days they try to work out how each of them will complete their own personal major accomplishment while possessing someone else’s body. The usual shenanigans involved with these types of movies ensue as the family tries to figure out how to fix their dilemma with differing results.

Even though the movie happens near Christmas you can enjoy it at any time of the year since it’s mostly a backdrop versus being a full-on holiday movie. The cast of Family Switch is wonderful. They all have to switch from one extreme to the other in their performance. Not so hard for veteran actors like Helms and Garner, but for the kids it is pretty impressive. While this type of movie has been made before there are a few twists and even a hint that this movie exists in another universe with a few self-deprecating lines. The old lessons of “the grass isn’t always greener” and “walk a mile in my shoes” are till apparent with a little more worked in. The Walkers need to learn a bit about each other, but also see what there opposite has been telling them and take it to heart as well. The only way to reverse their situation is to mend something broken in both a literal and implied manner. There are many funny moments for all involved and it’s a movie that the family can enjoy together. Also, there are enough adult jokes thrown in to not make this a strictly kid movie and some truly embarrassing scenes pulled off with great delivery. With the baby and dog added in it adds some more off the wall comedy without it being a distraction. There are a few groan moments in this movie because it does have to appeal to the family, but there are enough jokes and moments that will have you laughing. They also get to your heart without being too patronizing. Put this on your watch list and enjoy it with your family today and maybe see a few things about your family differently.

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