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Family Switch Review - Jennifer Garner’s film is an underwhelming Christmas comedy

Directed by McG, Family Switch stars Jennifer Garner, Ed Helms, Emma Myers, and Brady Noon in the main cast. It is currently streaming on Netflix

Family Switch Review - Jennifer Garner’s film is an underwhelming Christmas comedy
Family Switch cast

Last Updated: 04.21 PM, Dec 01, 2023


One look at the options available to stream on OTT, and you know that the holiday season is officially here. Major OTT platforms like Netflix are soaking in the Christmas festivities with films like Family Switch. This family comedy, which McG directed, tries to rework the overused concept of body swapping as a result of a rare cosmic event. But in this film, it's not one or two people involved, but the entire family!

Family Switch is like Freaky Friday, with the Christmas theme addition and the fact that it includes a family of six (including the family’s dog), who are all stuck in the wrong bodies for the right reasons. Jennifer Garner, who is also a co-producer, was seen experiencing something similar in her 2004 film 13 Going on 30 with Mark Ruffalo, in which she’s a teenager who wakes up as an adult.

Family Switch story

The film unfolds at a family home in Los Angeles. It’s a chaotic morning, just three days before Christmas Eve. The Walker family comprises busy parents Bill and Jess Walker and two teenage children, Wyatt and CC, along with a toddler son and the family dog, Pickles.

The first few minutes introduce us to a dysfunctional family in which each member is trying to navigate their lives without interference from the others. The teenage kids are distant from their parents because they feel a lack of connection due to the generation gap. “We are different people. You literally just want me to be you. It’s suffocating,” Wednesday-fame Emma Myers, who plays 17-year-old CC, tells her mother (Jennifer Garner) angrily.

While CC is a soccer star, Wyatt is a science genius, Jessica is a supermom, and Bill Walker is a former rockstar who is now a dull music teacher. The body swap is a turning point for the broken Walker family. Days before Christmas, there is a once-in-a-lifetime planetary alignment that turns their lives upside down. Once their bodies are swapped, the film is about the challenges that the family has to navigate to switch back into their own bodies, all while mending their ties.

Family Switch verdict

Based on the book Bedtime for Mommy by Amy Krouse Rosenthal, Family Switch delivers the mother-daughter, father-son mix-up with some goofy moments, but the trope of strained family relationships with growing children is a stale concept. The absurd comedy tries to touch upon family values, but as the film ends in 1 hour and 45 minutes, it feels like a rushed game. Some elements, like the cliched coincidences of 'sacrifices', are played out several times, making the film seem repetitive.

Despite sacrificing promotions and family vacations for 5 years, Jennifer’s character’s good deeds only get recognised after the body swap. Coincidence? And this isn’t the only one. There are several coincidences in the film that feel overused; the film is overstuffed with chance encounters. Legendary actress Rita Moreno is also in the film. Although her screen time is limited, she adds a touch of magic to it. Apart from her, some might enjoy the toilet humour and gross moments as a result of the funniest body switch between a baby and a bulldog.

So, is Family Switch the movie you watch with your family this holiday season? It can be if you like predictable plot twists and like seeing a family exchange warm hugs as they find their way to each other. But be warned about the cringe-worthy comedy during the happy ending.

Family Switch is available to stream on Netflix.


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