Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Coincidências do Amor (The Switch)

      I watched The Switch in Brazil though the title has been changed to something completely bizarre, Coincidências do Amor (Coincidences of Love). Why, who knows maybe there isn’t a word in Portuguese that means Switch or cheesy romantic comedy. I mean, most romantic comedies are cheesy so I guess that was redundant. Then again, romantic comedies aren't supposed to make you rethink your life, quit your job and move to NYC and start a punk rock band. They are supposed to do something though but what, no one knows.

      The movie is about a pregnancy but all movies these days has to have at least one person knocked up in it, it seems. Every since the superior movie Knocked Up came out 2 years ago there has been an onslaught of these movies showing how inadequate people deal with the little parasites. I guess if you think about it this has been going on longer than the last 2 years, I remember Hugh Grant had that movie with Julianne Moore 9 Months (I thought it was a sequel to 9 1/2 Weeks) or something back in the 90’s. There was also Father of the Bride 2 were both mother and daughter were pregnant and I am sure I am missing a few in between 1990 and 2010. I guess Switch is different in that it has the awkward “how she got pregnant” scenes and then skips 7 years later to the kid being 6 years old. So we miss out on Jennifer Aniston wearing a ridiculous latex pregnant belly appliance, the funny building the crib buying toys scene, the breathing scene, the stupid rushing to the hospital scene, the hilarious I don't want to be a dad scenes and the funny comic relief doctor scenes. Right past all that bullshit and straight into the comedy and romance.
     I have to give the movie some props for deviating from the mold of the last 20 years of oops I'm pregnant films. They even kind of deviate from the romantic comedy mold by not making Jason Bateman such a loser that in real life he would never get the girl. He is just a little neurotic, not a pot smoking, beer guzzling slob whose friends are either the fat guy or the nervous guy. Which is funny if you think about it because the guy that has been playing nervous guy for the last 5 years used to play Jason's son in Arrested Development.
     The only time I thought the movie got boring was when it was focusing on Jennifer Aniston. When we are with Bateman it gets at least some chuckles but when we stick with Jennifer it kind of just hits bottom. Probably because she isn't really all that funny or interesting which isn't her fault, they didn't hire Meryl Strep and Jennifer Aniston plays the role just right, pretty, successful and able to get a huge apartment in NYC plus a TV executive job even after being out of the business for 7 years. Like I said in the beginning it is a romantic comedy, the Light Beers of movies so we can't really expect to get drunk on watching it. Though in her defense, the scene in which she gets locked outside in a sheer white nightgown in chilly NYC was probably the best acting I have seen in a long time.
     So even though I wouldn't suggest it unless you are just a Bateman fan I would say rent it or steal it off the internet if you have time to kill. 


  1. Oddly, in Portugal it was titled "A Troca".

    Brazil, however, isn't unique in retitling this film. According to IMDB, in Belgium it was known as "A Very Modern Family" (Une famille très moderne); in Spanish, it was only "A Little Switch" (Un pequeño cambio); the Germans found it a "Complicate Love" (Umständlich verliebt), though given "umständlich", it might have been a long-winded, tedious or overdrawn love, who knows?

    The Greeks went right for the punch and just called it "Sperm Donor" (Δωρητής Σπέρματος); while in Russia it was "More than a Friend" (Больше, чем друг). Israel's title is a bit odd, with "Love in the Exchange" or, possibly, "Love in the Switch" (אהבה בהחלפה). Denmark went with the simpler "Baby Surprise".

    IMDB also listed the Hungarian title, but I'm not especially sure what that one may mean - my fumbling Hungarian would hazard a guess at the awkward, "occurrence of cell-exchange" for Sejtcserés támadás. If you break it into its parts so Google, Bing and the lot can figure it out, they suggest the alternative... "The attack of the cells-needing-to-be-changed!" which I think would make for a rather different film. Maybe it's just me.

    Speaking of 'entertainment' - I assume your students are looking forward to the CSI premiere? I've found it impossible to turn on the television the last two days without being informed that it will 'star' the - ahem - 'talents' of...

    Justin Bieber.

  2. I'm sure if it has to do with the Bieber they are going to be tuned in, mouths agape and his Bieberness. Though everything airs a few months after the fact down here as I am sure you are aware, they just finished the Glee season finale a couple of weeks ago while in the States it was getting ready for the season premiere.

    I have always loved how movie titles change from country to country. Some stay the same though, Resident Evil is pretty much still Resident Evil and Wall Street 2 was the same, more or less. I have a feeling though it has to do more with marketability than anything else.

  3. Yeah, I imagined marketing definitely plays some role in the changes, though I can't quite follow the logic of many of them.

    I was looking into some examples of this a few nights ago while talking with my g/f (she's investigating some of it herself as part of her thesis topic for her translation & interpretation program), and noticed some other oddities while browsing IMDB's lists of popular films. Curious about how they handle some of the more unusual names, I clicked through to the first Narnia movie: for "The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe", the Germans opted simply for "Der König von Narnia", "The King of Narnia"; France, on the other hand, found it necessary to make the title even more specific (and longer) as "Le Lion, la sorcière blanche et l'armoire magique", lest, I suppose, someone imagine it's some other kind of witch, or some non-magical species of bedroom furniture. The apparently smaller attention span of French Canadians reduced the whole title to simply "L'armoire magique".

    The latest Woody Allen affair, "You will meet a tall, dark stranger" becomes "Conocerás al hombre de tus sueños" in Spanish ("You'll meet the man of your dreams"), while the French went with "Vous allez rencontrer un bel et sombre inconnu" ("You'll meet a handsome, dark stranger") curiously dropping the original's "tall" in favor of "handsome".

    There was a Chinese film whose original English title for Hong Kong release was "A Simple Noodle Story", but which was released internationally as "The First Gun" and in the US as "A Woman, A Gun and a Noodle Shop".

    The vampire spoof "Vampires Suck" was released in Russia as "Vampire Hickey", in Germany as "Biss zum Abendbrot" ("A bite for supper"), while the Italians opted for the simpler, "Mordimi" ("Bite me").

    The old HBO send up "Cast a Deadly Spell" was released in Spain under two different titles: one, "Hechizo letal" (close, "Deadly spell"), and two, "El sello de Satán" ("The Seal of Satan")—the latter particularly odd given that the movie is a Lovecraft parody and has nothing to do with Satan. The Italians went with "Omicidi e incantesimi", "Murder and magic"; the Swedes thought it a "Svart förbannelse" ("black curse"); the French chose the curious "Detective Philippe Lovecraft". In Germany it came out as "Hexenjagd in L.A." ("Witch hunt in LA"), which is a bit strange given the loosely based sequel to the movie was called "Witch Hunt" (which itself, curiously, was released in Brazil as "Ilusões Satánicas"). I suppose Satan is more marketable than Lovecraft!