Random Factoid #378

10 08 2010

Have you seen the trailer for “The Switch?”  Looks kind of ehh, right?  Typical late summer fare that will have to pass for entertainment (at least for those of us not fortunate enough to have an independent theater).  Just so we are all on the same page for the rest of the post, I’ll embed the trailer below.

The poster to the left doesn’t really make you want to see it much either.  The gasp on Jennifer Aniston’s face and the pretentious-looking sniffle that Jason Bateman is doing sure doesn’t tell you much about the movie.  But look closer…

Did you notice the pedigree of the movie?  It’s from the people who brought us “Juno” and “Little Miss Sunshine.”  Does that add to your anticipation at all?  It shouldn’t, given the murky relationship between “The Switch” and the two Best Picture nominees.  I probably wouldn’t have thought twice about the reference given that Jason Bateman was in “Juno,” but The Los Angeles Times did some investigating:

The studio’s marketing wizards are plugging “The Switch” as being the movie “From the people who brought you ‘Juno’ and ‘Little Miss Sunshine.’ ” But who are these “people”? The film’s directors, Josh Gordon and Will Speck, had nothing to do with either of those films. Nor did the film’s screenwriter, Allan Loeb. The film’s producers, Ron Yerxa and Albert Berger, were producers of “Little Miss Sunshine” but had no involvement at all with “Juno.”

It turns out that those “people” are the people at Mandate Pictures, the production company that was involved with both “Juno” and “Little Miss Sunshine,” as well as such films as “Whip It,” “Drag Me to Hell” and the “Harold and Kumar” series. I’m sure all the folks at Mandate are really nice people, but it feels like a big stretch to use such a tenuous connection to lure us into the theater to see a film whose writers and filmmakers had nothing to do with “Juno” or “Little Miss Sunshine.”

Do you feel cheated at all?  If you were really going to spend $10 to see this movie because you could mention it in the same sentence with “Little Miss Sunshine,” you ought to up your cinema smarts.  I don’t ever use poster connections to tell me what movies to see, largely because I will have figured out what movies my favorite filmmakers have chosen to involve themselves in.  I especially could care less for romantic comedies and mindless action movies, both of which are genres whose success is driven mainly be stars, not directors.  Sorry, David Frankel, I saw “Marley & Me” because I love dogs and Owen Wilson, NOT because you directed “The Devil Wears Prada.”  Meryl Streep is the reason that movie is good.

Fun little closing note: there is one movie that could have used “from the man who brought you ‘Little Miss Sunshine'” on its poster.  That movie?  “Toy Story 3.”  Clearly it didn’t need to tout that name to make any money.


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7 responses

10 08 2010
Simon/Ripley

I wasn’t gonna see it anyway, so I’m not feeling especially betrayed.

10 08 2010
Chase Kahn

This just looks bland with a capital “B”. The cast, sans Aniston, is interesting (Jeff Goldblum!) but otherwise it looks like another dopey romantic comedy where a drunken mix-up bears the brunt of the plot.

And the “from the people who brought you…” marketing ploy has become so prevalent that I don’t even blink at it anymore. Hell, Ben Affleck’s “The Town” is using the line: “from the studio that brought you ‘The Departed’…”. They might as well say, “from the studio that brought you ‘The Public Enemy’ and ‘Little Caesar'”.

11 08 2010
Marshall

Haha, I totally thought the same thing. They couldn’t have said “from the director of Gone Baby Gone” or something? I think the starpower sells it enough…

And on another note, welcome to the site! Thanks for subscribing!

10 08 2010
Castor

This movie and its cast looks interesting until you realize Jennifer Anniston is in it…

11 08 2010
Fitz

If it were Elizabeth Banks instead of Aniston I would watch it, but I’ll save my mone for The American and The Town.

12 08 2010
Pinar Tarhan

No worries, I wasn’t going to be lured into the theaters because someone somehow related to Juno is somewhat related to this film. I look at the actors and the stories and maybe then references. But the thing is, I fail to see why Juno is that great in the first place. I liked it, it was fun but I fail to see it as a modest masterpiece or whatever.

As for The Switch, I impulsively check out romcoms and I really liked Bateman in Up in The Air and Couples Retreat. The Switch looks like it could be mindless entertainment if you like romcoms in general and I do. It could be terrible or mediocre but I just need to see it first to decide.

12 08 2010
MichaelAndTerrance

Excellent writeup! Good job seeing through the trailer. To me it looked like a “mainstream” version of “The Kids Are All Right.” Watch both of those trailers back to back. Both involve sperm donors reuniting with their offspring. One’s an intelligent indie, one’s a stupid sitcom. But if they HAD advertised it as “from the people who brought you DRAG ME TO HELL,” THAT would have got my attention! Haha!

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