Saturday, July 07, 2007

The Ex aka Fast Track


If I were to look at it, I would say The Ex aka Fast Track forms a loose trilogy of sorts with regards to growing up, and somewhat like a natural progression in the different stages of life that Zach Braff's characters form when stringed together. With Garden State, it's in the 20s where you're having a feel for the ground, exploring your options and not knowing exactly what life will dish out to you. With One Last Kiss, so you think that you're dead sure about your other half, you're getting married and vowing to spend the rest of your lives together, and suddenly an ingenue comes along, and cast doubts about that.

Plenty of what-will-you-do moments, with outcome that are different depending on your values, but totally possible, and brought out earnestly through Braff's performance as the everyday man. In The Ex, Zach Braff plays the blue collar salaryman whose hotshot lawyer wife had just given birth and as agreed, she'll be a stay home mum. But he just got fired from his job, thus sending their agreement into red alert zone. Taking up his father in law's offer, he uproots himself, wife and baby and starts work in a new age advertising company, only to meet up with his wife's ex.

You'd come to expect the usual jokes about not fitting into a totally different corporate culture with its own idiosyncrasies, conflict with the parents, and the constant threat posed by the wife's ex Chip Sanders played by Jason Bateman, which I bet almost every male would want to kill given his attitude and back stabbing nature. It's classic office politics at work as we root for the survival of Zach's Tom Reilly, though at times you'd expect him to have a little more backbone, and a little bit of smarts to survive the jungle out there.

If that sounds a little like Meet The Parents, it does. And it also is styled after Just Friends in the rivalry department, where two guys do battle over a girl, only that this time, it's the third party up against a married couple. Though I'd say it again, nothing beats riling you up when you see how the bastard at work gets away with almost everything, and get incensed with his obvious intentions to bang his ex, i.e. the wife.

The flow of the movie did seem a little broken at times, which I suspect that there were a lot more filmed than was put on screen, perhaps saving them for the DVD release. The ideas injected into the movie were numerous, but that made for the narrative feeling a little scattered. For instance, Amanda Peet as the wife Sofia Kowalski didn't really have much to do except nurse the baby, and be in some of the most trying comedic scenes such as the ones involving yoga.

Fans of Braff will not want to miss yet another familiar performance, and remember to stay tune during the credits for a coda, as well as various bloopers, some of which are genuinely funnier than the bits that made it to the movie.

No comments:

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...