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Thursday, May 10, 2007

The Ex

Posted on Thu, May 10, 2007 at 4:00 AM

***1/2
The Ex
Studio: The Weinstein Company
Rated: PG-13
Cast: Zach Braff, Amanda Peet, Jason Bateman
Director: Jesse Peretz
WorkNameSort: Ex, The
Our Rating: 3.50
Zach Braff stars in this relationship comedy ... no, wait. Don't stop reading yet. While the tentativeness with which anyone with a brain would approach another Braff-centered romcom is not only excusable but expected, The Ex not only surprises in the consistency and effectiveness of its dark wit, but, more importantly, lets Jason Bateman do most of the comedic heavy lifting. Braff is ' surprise ' a goofy, earnest guy who's in love with his wife (Amanda Peet) and new baby, but whose principles keep him from compromising in the 'real worldâ?� (where people keep jobs). Thus, the family winds up moving from Manhattan to an unnamed town in Ohio that's both a bucolic suburb and home to the cutting-edge advertising company where Braff gets a job thanks to his father-in-law (Charles Grodin, who looks terrible but delivers some fantastic lines). Bateman stars as the wheelchair-bound, five-star asshole that keeps everyone at the firm (except Braff) snowed as to how evil he truly is. It's in Bateman's character that the movie finds most of its laughs, and the former Arrested Development star is impressive as the truly pernicious Chip. Plotwise, The Ex holds few interesting turns, but director Jesse Peretz does a fantastic job of ensuring that both the humor and the humanity of the film comes across naturally.

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