The Ex | Chicago Reader

The Ex

Even likable star Zach Braff can't salvage this clunker, a sour comedy about a fired Manhattan chef who moves his wife (Amanda Peet) and new baby to Ohio and takes a job there at his father-in-law's ad agency. As in The Last Kiss, Braff plays a man-child forced to grow up, but here his big obstacle is Jason Bateman, an alpha-male creative in a wheelchair who dated Peet in high school (and still has her panties). Artificial situations and feeble dialogue limit the laughs, despite the ad business setting—a missed opportunity for parody. Instead screenwriters David Guion and Michael Handelman play coy, pretending to make fun of the handicapped when the running joke is really that old saw about which guy's is bigger. With Charles Grodin and Mia Farrow, who deserve a better director than Jesse Peretz. PG-13, 89 min.

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