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'The Switch' directors: We're not sure what Bill O'Reilly is talking about

August 13, 2010 |  7:38 pm

Anis
As Jennifer Aniston and Bill O'Reilly trade barbed words about the virtues of single motherhood in Aniston's new movie "The Switch," the directors of the movie that sparked the debate say they're mystified by the talk-show host's critique.

"We're surprised that issue has any traction with the right," Josh Gordon, who co-directed the dramatic comedy with Will Speck, told 24 Frames as the pair discussed the movie Friday in their Santa Monica offices.

"This feels like culture battles that were fought in the '90's. It feels like 'Murphy Brown.' And Jen dealt with it years ago when she had a kid on 'Friends.' I'm surprised anyone on the right is still digging these bodies up."

The contretemps began when Aniston, while promoting "The Switch" last weekend, told reporters that "women are realizing it more and more, knowing that they don't have to settle with a man just to have that child."

"Times have changed, and ... what is amazing is that we do have so many options these days, as opposed to our parents' days when you can't have children because you have waited too long."

OreilHis moral hackles raised, O'Reilly fired back this week, saying that Aniston is "throwing a message out to 12-year-olds and 13-year-olds that hey, you don't need a guy, you don't need a dad."

In a roundtable he convened on his show, O'Reilly said that this type of thinking was "destructive to our society" and that Aniston is "diminishing the role of the dad." (Aniston then replied, telling People magazine that "many women dream of finding Prince Charming (with fatherly instincts), but for those who've not yet found their Bill O'Reilly, I'm just glad science has provided a few other options.")

"The Switch" tracks the story of a thirtysomething woman who chooses to have a child via artificial insemination, and the consequences that ensue when Jason Bateman's character swaps  his sperm for that of her chosen donor. The great novelty of the film might be that there's little novelty at all to single motherhood; indeed, much of the movie focuses on Bateman's character and his emerging relationship with the child when the boy re-enters his life as a 6-year-old.

"It's ironic what Bill O'Reilly is saying about the dad not getting enough credit," Gordon said. "If you see this movie you leave with this appreciation of how difficult it is for men to step up."

And while Speck/Gordon -- whose previous effort was the more broadly comedic but still gender-role-themed "Blades of Glory" -- were hardly looking to make a family-values picture, they say that at the front of their minds was the importance of a father’s role in parenting.

 "Ultimately, it's not a movie that charts the path of a single mother needing a man," Speck said. "What it feels like is the realization of these characters that when you have certain kinds of connections it can be beneficial to a child."

--Steven Zeitchik

http://twitter.com/ZeitchikLAT

Photos: Jennifer Aniston in 'The Switch.' Credit: Walt Disney Pictures.

Bill O'Reilly. Credit: Associated Press

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Comments () | Archives (15)

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Ultimately this all comes to hold on to family values. The Conservatives fear change. They want this to be a happy go lucky world. Where a man and woman get married, have a family and live happily ever after. It's the 50's folks! Yeah that's all fine and dandy, but that's not the reality we're living in, Aniston is actually helping young women by showing them that there are alternatives. You don't have to live with this pressure of getting married and having the socalled perfect life. A person should have the life they want to have and be happy.

This looks like a tail wagging the dog publicity stunt; the film promising to be a less than "Juno" movie billed as from the people who brought us "Juno." (Not.)

Jennifer is not glamorizing single parenthood, nor is Jennifer “de-emphasizing” the role of a father. all Jennifer is saying that families are all different shapes and sizes and styles, which is perfectly true AND acceptable. I think anyone with half a brain could understand that. people just need to stop reading way too deeply between the lines and purposefully twisting what other people say!This is the Dan Quayle/Murphy Brown ‘controversy’ all over again! What is a family? If you have a mom, dad & 2.5 kids for a family, GREAT! If you have just a mom? Great. Just a dad? Great! Being raised by grandparents, aunts/uncles, siblings, cousins, GREAT! The term ‘family’ is relative to everyone. I find O’Reilly’s comments lacking & just incredibly stupid! ALL families — regardless of what they look like — count! Mr. O’Reilly, Brangeloonies,Orionsaint and JillS seems to have forgotten that small tidbit.

Jennifer is not glamorizing single parenthood, nor is Jennifer “de-emphasizing” the role of a father. all Jennifer is saying that families are all different shapes and sizes and styles, which is perfectly true AND acceptable. I think anyone with half a brain could understand that. People just need to stop reading way too deeply between the lines and purposefully twisting what other people say!
This is the Dan Quayle/Murphy Brown ‘controversy’ all over again! What is a family? If you have a mom, dad & 2.5 kids for a family, GREAT! If you have just a mom? Great. Just a dad? Great! Being raised by grandparents, aunts/uncles, siblings, cousins, GREAT! The term ‘family’ is relative to everyone. And I find O’Reilly’s and Jill S comments lacking & just incredibly stupid! ALL families — regardless of what they look like — count! Mr. O’Reilly and JillS seems to have forgotten that small tidbit.

@Orionsaint

The issue isn't anything to do with "advancement" and fear of change. Family values is NOT some antiquated 50's Golden Era concept. Man/Woman/Child is the basic building block of ALL civilizations. Do you think other countries are run by Conservative vs Liberal thought? Do theyhave similar versions of the "50's? El Salvador's 50's mighta been miserable and war torn and the 90's was their golden era.

- - - - - -

What people are doing now is saying do whatever you want to do, whatever it is, whatever who cares, and over time we'll think of ways to DE-criminalize the behavior to make it acceptable. Instead of feeling "pressure" or having a conscience, is lets get rid of having feelings altogether!

Children's development does not care about our social adaptions. It calls for a Mother AND a Father. Just like our bodies need water. Are we thinking of alternatives to water?

There's ALWAYS going to be pressure. Even in those blessed 50's. Its our arrogance and selfishness and trying to kick the can down the road avoidng problems thinking "WE'RE different" and better thats just appalling to me.

Are ducks trying to "rethink" how they lay eggs?

To anyone: Tell me what is wrong with the message of valuing fathers? Seriously, what? Why is that any less than valuing mothers? Or valuing children? Do you see how flipped upside-down things already are to where thats even has to be a QUESTION?

Sometimes you have to take a side instead of being moderate in the middle and non-abrasive. Different doesnt always been better.

Well Jen I hope you and your turkey baster have a good life together.

Honestly people,
Don't Get me Wrong,

I love Jennifer Aniston, I would love to meet her & take her Off the Market once & For All and show her a Man who's Got her Back...

but are you really going to base your Values on Adulthood, MotherHood, Parenting, etc. on

A. A Hollywood Movie, or

B. Some Conservative 1950's Style McCarthy era style Talk Show ?

Get with the Program People ! Get a Brain ! Turn off the TV and Movies!

Family Values don't come from Hollywood Media !

Whay do they keep calling O'Reilly a right winger when he proves to be non partisan to either side.

It's ok, O'Riley has no idea what he's talking about at anytime so, just look at the source and realize that it's the ranting of a crazy man.

@SDPro I like you comment, lol.

I feel bad for, Jen. She's damaged goods. I know girls like this. They become bitter and resentful of men and promote Non-father families.

These girls usually end up becoming agressive, feminazi, man-hating, sluts that do a lot of damage to society.

These directors are disingenuous in stating that "times have changed" and they cannot possibly believe that conservatives have rolled over on the issues related to "family values." The United States hasn't evolved over the last ten years into a homogeneous collective of people who have uniformly accepted all of the "options" that they describe. Just look at the popularity of people like Sarah Palin and the criticisms leveled at anyone who gets press for having a non-traditional family to realize that our society still has a substantial number of people who view anything other than "man/woman/child" as an affront to their way of life.

Oh how dare we judge!!! A man committing his life, dismissing his desires, sacrificing for and loving a woman, to have and raise children... How awful! How unscientific, and the statistics show... oh don't show the statistics of single mom poverty and imprisonment levels! Don't show it! Don't be so judgemental! What's most important in life! Why... one's own feelings.... ahh.... therapy...

-=-=
When women start being forced to pay a monthly fee in order to visit their child, that someone else is raising, then we'll see where Jen stands on "single parenthood".

I was duped into fatherhood, and I paid my monthly child visitation fees until my child was 4 years old, when his mother passed away. I've been raising him as a single dad ever since, and guess what, he's well on his way to being a good and honest man.
-=-=-=

Mike- had a girlfriend in the past 10 years? Didn't think so. Loser.
And JillS-stop being jealous-people WILL see the movie. It's supposed to be pretty good.
The directors and Aniston made perfectly respectful, intelligent comments and are promoting a movie (because, uh, that's what actors and directors do)Unless you live in a cave, we have OPTIONS; why would a woman have to defend becoming a single mother at a late age (w/o settling for just anyone) if that's what they want? Sheryl Crow did it, and thousands of other woman as well. If Aniston were a MAN, she would not have to defend her stance. O'Reilly works really hard on setting us back to the dark ages w/ his stupidity and ignorance.

It's all a publicity ploy for another same-plot romantic comedy for Aniston...who really believes what either one of these media hounds says??? We control our own destiny, not a Hollywood bimbo or ranting radio host...


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