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Hollywood's Take On Sperm Donation

Everyone knows Hollywood always has it’s spin on reality. Exaggerated situations and often ridiculous circumstances are the norm in the average American movie. Sperm donation is no different in the eyes of Hollywood writers and producers with a slow emergence of movies over the years broaching the topic of fertility and sperm donation hitting the big screen.

In 2010’s The Switch, a successful single woman, Kassie Larson (Jennifer Aniston), who hasn’t found love decides she wants to have a baby. Her long-time best friend Wally Mars (Jason Bateman) objects. Kassie does not want to use a sperm bank (it’s Hollywood, that would be too easy) because she wants to know the donor and have a connection with him. Wally suggests he be the donor, but Kassie turns him down.

Of course this plot is amplified by the fact that Wally has, of course, always had feelings for Kassie.

These types of movies are meant to be light and funny with an occasional “serious” moment. The true depths of the desire to have a child and the financial and social burdens of the parties involved are rarely explored. Money is never an issue, and everyone seems to accept the decisions as if it is just something you wake up and decide to do one day.

In one ridiculous scene of the movie, Kassie throws an “insemination party” where the handsome, charming, and married assistant professor/sperm donor is introduced to the audience, and to Wally. The party is very elaborate with all sorts of fertility symbols, statues, and décor; free-flowing alcohol; and even cigarette (or is it pot?) smoking by the “doctor”.

When the crowd cheers Kassie, you get a good glimpse of an egg and sperm sculpture on the wall. You can’t help but think about how long that would have taken to make or how much money if would have cost. It’s just another far-fetched piece of the movie. The number of people at this party is kind of surprising too. Alas, it is Hollywood.

The fact that this character wants a baby so badly and then chooses to publicize it in such a way as an insemination party, is kind of conflicting. There are no guarantees in real life that she will get pregnant. The real celebration comes after the insemination works, not before, because if it doesn’t work, you have to tell that many more people your disheartening news.

Another funny part of the party scene is that the married sperm donor is actually going to donate the sperm at the party…in the bathroom. If that isn’t a little awkward, I don’t know what is!

In the end, Wally gets silly drunk, stumbles into the bathroom and “accidentally” dumps the sperm donation in the sink. He then decides to replace it with his own sperm and doesn’t say anything. Nor does he remember…for seven years!

Kassie gets pregnant and moves away to be closer to her parents. Wally and her keep in touch, but barely. Then, seven years later, she decides to move back in town and as Wally gets to know Sebastian, Kassie’s son, Wally begins to see the similarities between himself and the boy. This triggers his memory of switching the sperm and he is tasked with deciding to tell Kassie and lose her, or keep it to himself and see her pursue a relationship with the now divorced sperm donor.

All in all, The Switch is a lighthearted and entertaining movie, if not ridiculous as well. While it may make you laugh, don’t count on learning a thing or to on sperm donation, unless it’s what not to do.

What was your take on The Switch? Did you find it ridiculous or entertaining?

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