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Patrick Goldstein and James Rainey
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Who are the mystery 'people' behind Jennifer Aniston's 'The Switch'?

Jennifer_ aniston I'd like to think that most moviegoers have learned to be justifiably suspicious when movie marketers try to sell a new picture based on the come-on "from the producer or director of" some earlier movie that they might have liked. More often than not, the new movie being sold isn't nearly as good as the original movie being referenced, which is why the marketers are trying to ride the good vibes of the original movie in the first place.

So my suspicions were on high alert when I discovered a new billboard in my neighborhood selling "The Switch," a Jennifer Aniston and Jason Bateman romantic comedy arriving in theaters on Aug. 20. It's one of the orphaned films left in the lurch when Disney unceremoniously shuttered its Miramax subsidiary, so hopes are not high for any real commercial success, especially since late August is traditionally a dumping ground for movies without enough sizzle to open earlier in the summer.

So how is Disney trying to grab our interest? 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." But I guess that, if you're a movie marketer in desperate straits, when you have a lemon, you try to make lemonade.

Photo: Jennifer Aniston at the launch of her new fragrance, Lolavie, at Harrods in London last month. Credit: Gareth Cattermole / Getty Images

Comments () | Archives (14)

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You might be right in this case, but perhaps you might want to wait and actually see this film before declaring it a lemon?

Sometimes marketers with a good film that is an indie or smaller picture and without a great marketing budget might implore the techniques you criticized in order to entice people to give the film a chance. Let's wait for some reviews from people who have actually seen the film before we determine that shady practices are at play here, okay?

I've seen this type of thing before. Why single out this film?
Are you also declaring Eat, Pray, Love a lemon because it is coming out in Aug just a week before The Switch?
Is every movie coming out in August a lemon? If so, why not just announce that everyone should stay home from the movies in August.

Not that I really intended to see it in the first place, but I'm usually suspicious of ad campaigns like that as well. We have no idea who made the movie!

I love jen, she is a very fine actress. Comedy is harder to pull than drama. With drama, you dont have to cry but comedy is not comedy if it didnt even made you smile.

I love everything about you Jen, dont mind the paid haters here by you know who. You will always be our America's sweetheart.

seriously - stop the crap! move on! it gets old after a while - i mean come on you can't believe much in salt - yet - it gets a A! please, after a while people really get tired of the bias media! will see the movie love jennifer, jason bateman and jeff! the kid looks so cute!

Looking forward to seeing this movie August 20th.

Did you just say that Eat,Love, Pray would not be good since it was released in the month of August? Stallone's Expendables would not be good? The Other Guys would not be good?

Nathan Kahane is an executive producer for The Switch and also was for Juno.

Did anyone actually read the article it's point is that the 'people behind' this movie have almost nothing to do with Juno and Little Miss Sunshine...I was actually thinking that despite my dislike of one of the stars of this movie it might be good due to its 'connection' with those movies that I know its not true I will go back to my initial impression that I am not interested as I could read some version of this on a tabloid cover at my doctors office.'s not like they can sell the movie on aniston's "acting" abilities.

well I guess they had no other hook. since Aniston can't act her way out of a plastic bag (much less open a movie) and Bateman is really good, but mostly a TV actor, they had to fabricate something to lure them in.

and people wonder why Hollywood sucks...

Jennifer Aniston for sale! cheap!

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