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The Student News Site of Barrington High School

The RoundUp

The Student News Site of Barrington High School

The RoundUp

The Student News Site of Barrington High School

The RoundUp

Disconnected Families and Planetary Alignments

Photo from TV Insider.
Photo from TV Insider.

This holiday season was cheerfully started with a new release, “Family Switch” starring Jennifer Garner, Emma Myers, Brady Noon, and Ed Helms. The new movie is now available on Netflix. Many are scrambling to jumpstart their holiday season with this new release, and I was one of them.

“Family Switch” was, as expected, a classic and cheesy Christmas movie. It begins with a very chaotic family of four, the Walkers, with Jess Walker, the mother played by Jennifer Garner, attempting to get the family to spend time together. The two teens of the family, CC and Wyatt, remain glued to their devices, and Jess comments that the family is becoming increasingly “disconnected” from each other. A few scenes later, the Walkers are in their local planetarium, waiting to see a historic planetary alignment, when arguments explode between the four of them. The four of them say the same phrase to each other: “I wish you could be me”. With those words, a certain magic befalls the Walkers, and the next morning, the parents and the teens switch bodies.

Each of the Walkers are incredibly different from one another, so the four of them learn to navigate new ways of life (not without much struggle), and it takes a lot for them to come to the conclusion that it’s important to put yourself in someone else’s shoes sometimes. Judging isn’t always the solution. One could say that this movie is a nod to Jennifer Garner’s “13 Going on 30” 2000 hit or “Freaky Friday”, and in many ways, all of these are similar.

“Family Switch” is composed of a variety of elements, ranging from joy, curiosity, excitement and a tinge of a lesson to be learned. The movie is especially cheesy, like I mentioned previously. Sometimes a little too cheesy. It’s understandable that a light hearted holiday movie has a few puns here and there and makes you cringe a little, but having to do that every few minutes is a little too much for the audience. The dialogue especially rang to me as very cheesy and sometimes unnecessary. I suppose the directors attempted to add some “trendy language” into the film to attempt to make it more appealing to viewers, but it was, sadly, a failed attempt. Oftentimes, some directors try to add extra trendy elements to their work, they think it will positively connect with the audience, but it just ends up being cringey and forced. That was what happened with “Family Switch”. They had the right idea, they just didn’t execute it right.

Apart from the movie being cheesy, it still successfully incorporated a lesson. The lesson of putting yourself in other peoples’ shoes and the importance of family shone brightly in this film, and the various conflicts that all the characters faced allowed the audience to learn this lesson with them at the end. Yes, this theme isn’t original, I digress, but the way the director and team incorporated it into the film, and how the main conflict tied into it was very creative. A touch of humor also allowed for audiences to smile through the emotional and heavy parts of the film as well.

Overall, it was refreshing to see a new Christmas movie released. Many of us rewatch old classics during this time of year, like “Home Alone”, “Polar Express”, or “How the Grinch Stole Christmas”, but to have a different festive movie to watch allows for an expansion of Christmas movie lists, and just a new hit for the family to watch altogether by the fire.

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