Family Switch Parent Guide
This predictable film doesn't switch anything up but sticks with bland consistency to the tired formula.
Parent Movie Review
It’s a hectic time for the Walker family. Mom (Jennifer Garner) has a career-defining presentation coming up, CC (Emma Myers) is playing a championship soccer match in front of a national team recruiter, Wyatt (Brady Noon) has an interview for early admission to Yale, and Dad (Ed Helms) has an opportunity for his band to play on TV. With so much going on in their individual lives, family members have become disconnected, all living in their own worlds. But after a mysterious incident at the planetarium, the Walkers discover that they have switched bodies with each other. Will they be able to help each other succeed and mend their relationships or will they be stuck in the wrong bodies forever?
We’ve all seen a body swap movie. It’s not an original idea. And I think that’s what sums up this film: there’s nothing new here. The only adjective I can conjure up is bland. Family Switch is so innocuously boring and banal that I honestly could not tell you any details of what I just watched ten minutes ago. I think my brain treated it like white noise and I passed into some sort of waking REM state. It’s not offensively bad by any means, that would at least make it attention-grabbing. Instead, Family Switch chose to be the cinematic equivalent of watching paint dry.
I have a few gripes with this film, aside from the blatant unoriginality. But my main one is the use of Christmas. This is touted as a holiday movie and it does take place around that time, but the season has no impact on the plot at all. The story could have taken place at any point in the school year, and nothing would change. It’s almost like Netflix decided at the last minute that they needed something for a December release date, so director McG (yes, that’s his name; not a typo) added a Christmas tree to the Walker’s house and called it a day. Viewers looking for something festive will be disappointed.
Aside from being painfully boring and predictable, I wouldn’t recommend this film for children, despite the PG rating. There was more swearing than I expected, as well as an out of place sexual reference and some teen partying (though alcohol is never specified in that scene). There’s also a lot of potty humor, which feels forced and cringy. I wish I could say this is an innocuous family holiday film perfect for background noise, but it can’t manage to even add enough festive cheer to make it worth the runtime.Directed by McG. Starring Jennifer Garner, Ed Helms, Emma Myers. Running time: 101 minutes. Theatrical release November 30, 2023. Updated November 30, 2023
Watch the trailer for Family Switch
Rating & Content Info
Why is Family Switch rated PG? Family Switch is rated PG by the MPAA for suggestive material, language, teen partying, and some thematic elements.
Violence: Characters fall multiple times in comedic scenes. A character is shoved by bullies. Teen characters get into a fistfight.
Sexual Content: Couples kiss. A boy makes a sexual reference as an insult.
Profanity: The script contains three mild profanities as well as over 10 uses of terms of deity.
Alcohol / Drug Use: Adults drink alcohol in some scenes. One scene takes place at a high school party where teens are seen drinking from red plastic cups, but it is never specified what they’re drinking.
Page last updated November 30, 2023
Family Switch Parents' Guide
How do the parents and kids come to understand each other better as they live in each other’s bodies? What long term changes do you think the Walkers will have in their relationships with each other? How could you try to understand other people’s perspectives and experiences better?
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Body switching is a familiar plot device in films. Freaky Friday tells the tale of a mother and her 15 year old daughter who are horrified to wake up in each other’s skin. This PG story is full of laughs and lessons in empathy. Sometimes the switch happens across time; not with another person. In 13 Going on 30, young Jenna is astonished to have her wish fulfilled and have an adult body – but she realizes growing up doesn’t mean all her dreams will come true. Zac Efron stars in 17 Again, the story of a dad who is suddenly a high school senior again – attending school with his own teenage kids. In Shazam!, fourteen year old Billy Batson meets a mysterious wizard and is given a magical staff that bestows temporary adulthood and superpowers.