The Ex (directed by Jesse Peretz) is a romantic comedy that induces a few chuckles but ultimately doesnít do its talented cast justice.
Tom Reilly (Zach Braff) is a slacker who canít find a career he loves. When he loses his job as chef the day his wife, Sofia Kowalski (Amanda Peet), has their baby, he is forced to move from New York City to small town Ohio. He reluctantly takes a job at an ad agency where her father (Charles Grodin) works. He meets Chip Sanders (Jason Bateman); a self-absorbed creative consultant who knew Sofia in high school and has an unhealthy crush on her. Tom must learn to survive in the corporate world and against Chip who becomes a rival at work and in his personal life.
The humor is average at best. There are a few moments that are funny but most of the writing lets the cast down. Zach Braff, Amanda Peet and Jason Bateman are talented comedic actors. Even they cannot save this movie from its own mediocre writing.
Braffís character is very one-dimensional. He does redeem himself when he his taking care of his son but most of the time he acts like a screw up who canít get his act together. The ending is promising for his character, though. It makes me believe he might finally get some thing right. But Iím not holding my breath.
Chip Sanders is as evil of a corporate rival as they get. He is sadistic, cruel and there are no qualities in his personality that compels me to like him. I feel this also makes Sanders appear one-dimensional. It would be interesting for him to reveal anything that garners sympathy.
Amy Adams, Fred Armisen, Amy Poehler and Paul Rudd are all delightful actors that pop up in the movie. Poehler was great. She leaves me wondering why her character doesnít show up more. She is hilarious with the lines she is given (as are the rest of them). Any excuse to give Poehler more lines and air time would make me happy.
If you do rent this movie or happen to catch it on TV make sure itís not the unrated version. The version released in theaters, in my opinion, has a more satisfying ending and also gives us more reasons to hate Chip.
A side note: this movie was first released as Fast Track but the title was changed to The Ex in later versions