by Hope Madden
Jexi is the Captain Obvious of comedies.
We’re on our phones too much. We’re failing to take in the beauty around us. We’re not making human connections. We’re more comfortable isolating ourselves. The online world we create is false and sad.
Jon Lucas and Scott Moore, the insightful filmmaking team skewering society with cultural commentaries like Bad Moms and Bad Moms Christmas, wants to help you see the absurdity of living this phone-dependent life. They drag poor Adam Devine, Alexandra Shipp and Rose Byrne down with them.
Devine is socially isolated Phil—good guy, smart, but incredibly uncomfortable socially. He’d rather cozy up afterwork with take-out and Netflix, all of it brought up via voice commands. Then he meets gorgeous Cate (Shipp) who works with her hands, likes the outdoors, owns a brick-and-mortar shop and finds Phil’s cowardly self-deprecation charming. He’s so distracted he breaks his phone.
The defective operating system on the new phone promptly ruins his life, thereby setting him free. Jexi is like Spike Jonze’s 2013 masterpiece Her, only dumb.
Devine gives his all to a minor twist on his familiar character, the lovable dumbass. As the lead in the film, his edges are softened this go-round, and he settles into a nicely amiable schlub you can root for. Shipp doesn’t get to do much beyond be the girl you wish you were or you wish you were dating, but Byrne delivers some laughs.
Rose Byrne is one of the most reliable comic actors working today. Here she’s basically a jealous, controlling, psychotic Siri and her deadpan delivery is priceless. It’s just not enough to salvage the film.
Get off your phones. Kiss a girl. Ride a bike.