Release Date: May 11th, 2007 by The Weinstein Company.
The Cast: Zach Braff, Amanda Peet, Jason Bateman, Charles Grodin, Mia Farrow, Lucian Maisel, Donal Logue, Amy Poehler, Fred Armisen, Amy Adams.
Directed by Jesse Peretz.
BASIC PREMISE: When Tom (Braff) moves in with his wife, Sofia (Peet) and his newborn child and starts working for Sofia’s father (Grodin), he must deal with his boss, Chip (Bateman), a wheelchair-bound ex-boyfriend of Sofia who tries to win her over.
ENTERTAINMENT VALUE: The Ex could have been a hilarious situational comedy, but with its forced slapstick humor and recycled jokes, it simply fails to be funny or refreshing. After Tom gets fired from his job as a Manhattan chef and his wife, Sofia, has a baby, they move to Ohio, where starts working in an ad agency for Sofia’s father-in-law, played by the unfunny Charles Grodin. His selfish boss, Chip, wants to steal Sofia away from Tom, which makes him jealous. For the rest of the tedious second act, Tom and Chip basically try to get back at one another like children would behave. In the only somewhat funny scene, Tom discovers that his neighbor’s little kid, Wesley, (Maisel) can swallow hamburgers whole and decides to tape it for an ad commercial, which Chip, of course claims as his own. Zach Braff looks bored and tired while Amanda Peet and Mia Farrow, as Sophie’s mom, don’t have enough material to work with. Jason Bateman gives a performance that feels creepy and over-the-top. Co-writers David Giuon and Michael Handelman include too much juvenile and repetitive physical humor—how funny is it to watch Tom fall down or bump into things? The lowest comedic point is when Tom throws Chip down the stairs to try to prove that he can walk. Wesley should have been the main character everyone else comes across as either annoying or bland. Lucian Maisel has more charisma than any of the other actors here put together and, on top of that, he’s the only remotely likable character. Stay tuned for an additional scene after the end credits if you manage to even make it that far.
SPIRITUAL VALUE: None is required or desired.
INSULT TO YOUR INTELLIGENCE: None, as long as you check your brain at the door.
NUMBER OF TIMES I CHECKED MY WATCH: 8
IN A NUTSHELL: Crass, juvenile and unfunny.
RECOMMENDED WAY TO WATCH: TV
The "E" Menu