What a curious film. As I sat there in there in the theater, I recognized that it fell a bit to the weak side, but I could not help but be entertained by the pair of Zach Braff and Jason Bateman. Coming from two of the best sitcoms of recent years, the pair seemed like a stroke of genius, and while they dug into the roles with relish, they were ultimately betrayed by a script that did not have faith in its convictions. The Ex is the kind of movie that will give you some chuckles while you watch it, but when you leave and you stop to think about what you had just seen, you will realize that it wasn't nearly as edgy or smart or funny as it could have been.
The story centers on Tom (Braff), a chef who has a bad habit of losing his job. His latest sacking comes at a particularly bad time, as his wife, Sofia (Amanda Peet), is about to give birth to the couple's first child. Sofia has decided to leave her successful law career to be a fulltime mom, and Tom takes Sofia's father up on a job offer, which moves them from their small New York City apartment to a home in an Ohio suburb. This is where we meet Sofia's folks, played by Mia Farrow and Charles Grodin (on the big screen for the first time in a dozen years). From there we follow Tom to his new job at a new ad agency called Sunburst, where employees have rat tails, throw around an imaginary ball, and have no walls.
It is at Sunburst where Tom meets Chip Sanders (Bateman), his paraplegic boss and one time flame to Sofia. This begins a rivalry between the two, although I am not sure which is higher on Chip's to do list, kill Tom's career or lure Sofia back to his lair, er, chair. Chip is a master manipulator, who bests Tom at every turn. Tom, on the other hand is completely inept at his job, oblivious to his wife's discontentment, and unable to keep any aspect of his life in order.