Wow. You'd think Zach Braff, Amanda Peet and Jason Bateman could make a funnier movie than this. It's not that I consider any of the three to be comedic geniuses, but even Terry Schiavo could have done better. The Ex will want you to file for divorce from your TV.
Braff stars as man who has a wife (Peet) and new child, and who up until recently had a decent job. After getting fired for spraying his boss with ketchup for some unexplained reason, they move out of the city for cheaper residence. Braff takes a job at his wife's father's creative design firm, but runs into one giant obstacle - his asshole cripple of a boss (Bateman), who seems to go out of his way to destroy Braff's life. And why? Because Bateman used to date Peet, and he still wants her for himself.
Braff won over audiences with his very-good Garden State, but has since then spent his time trying to prove he's a one-hit wonder. Sure, he's okay on "Scrubs", but he's really not the highlight of that show. Anyway, onto The Ex. He brings his "Scrubs" style of humor to the flick, except that without the "Scrubs" writers, the humor falls flat, crashes through the ground and pops up somewhere in China, presumably on a pirated DVD that no one wants to buy even for 10 RMB. Braff is quite bad here, though you have to blame it more on the writers than anyone else. He gets himself into so many stupid situations that would never happen in the real world, and he does so many stupid things to get out of them that it's impossible to relate to his character.
To make matters worse, the film is so loose and unimpressive that it hardly lives up to its premise. The movie is supposed to be about an ex trying to steal Braff's wife, but in reality the movie is about two men quarreling. Sure, Bateman is trying to get with Peet (who wouldn't?), but most of the movie is about Bateman being an asshole but getting away with it due to being in a wheelchair, and Braff taking the heat for accusing a "cripple" of deceitful behavior. Many of the "funny" scenes that were shown in the previews - if you can call them that - aren't even in the movie, and the film feels like a stripped-out shell of one. I don't know who had the final cut of the movie, but if this is the best they could come up with, I would hate to see the first flick.
The Ex is a waste of space, and has little to offer in terms of comedy. Bateman, coming off "Arrested Development", could certainly do better, and the rest of the cast should, at least, try.
Review by Erik Samdahl unless otherwise indicated.
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