I am truly sad about this movie. First, coming on the heels of The Bounty Hunter, no one is going to give Jennifer Aniston the benefit of the doubt. Second, the premise of the film—a male friend of a woman replaces the sperm donor’s sample with his own—is so patently icky it’s repellent. Finally, the marketing of the film as this zany sperm-swapping comedy is tasteless. What the film’s promoters seem to have forgotten is that despite a few glaring flaws, this is actually a very clever, charming and well-written film.
Kassie’s (Aniston) biological clock is not ticking. The alarm has gone off. With no man in her life and no prospects in sight, she is turning to alternative fertility strategies. Her best friend Wally (Jason Bateman) thinks this is a terrible idea. Partially because it’s unconventional, partly because it’s a rushed decision and partly because he doesn’t have the nerve to tell Kassie he’s been in love with her for years. When Kassie throws herself an ‘insemination party,’ arguably the most tasteless event in the history of the world, Wally loses it. With Wally clearly upset, Kassie’s loopy friend Debbie (Juliette Lewis) gives him an herbal Valium. A bottle of bourbon later, he’s a mess, and that’s when it happens.
Wally spills the donated sperm and in his compromised state can only think of one way to replace it…you guessed it. The next morning Wally has no recollection of the evening at all. Even when his boss and confidante Leonard (Jeff Goldblum) reminds Wally that he showed up at Leonard’s apartment at 4 a.m. nonsensically babbling an unintelligible confession. Kassie gets pregnant and leaves town. It’s only when she moves back seven years later with brooding, precocious, 6-year-old Sebastian (Thomas Robinson) that Wally start to piece together what has happened.
I definitely went into this film with the bar set low, but I have to say parts of it blew me away. The adorable relationship between Wally and Sebastian will melt your heart, and the comic exchange between Wally and Leonard is some of the best romantic comedy writing I’ve heard. Jennifer Aniston is just OK, and it’s painfully obvious to any mother that she (and apparently the screenwriter) has very little firsthand experience with children, but all in all I was very pleasantly surprised.