Arriving on Blu-ray and DVD this week is Jon Lucas and Scott Moore’s smart-phone comedy, “Jexi”, starring Adam Devine and Rose Byrne as the voice of the crazy phone. The writer/directors have found success in the past with the “Bad Moms” films and they both co-wrote “The Hangover”. The film was not screened for critics when released theatrically and I had heard some truly terrible things from those who had seen it. Surprisingly, I didn’t think it was all-that bad. I even got a few chuckles out of “Jexi”.
The film opens with a montage of Phil (Devine) growing up. As his parents talk or argue, they would hand him their phone to preoccupy him. Essentially, Phil grew up staring at phone screens. Cut-to present day, when Phil is not working at a popular media website, he spends his nights ordering takeout and streaming movies and series. He has no friends and rather stay home than hang out with co-workers who continue to invite him to play kickball.
When Phil accidentally bumps into Cate (Alexandra Shipp) on the street, he almost instantly falls in love. However, not before breaking his phone. With his smartphone being deemed unfixable by a smart-ass salesperson (Wanda Sykes), he purchases a new phone with an A.I. named Jexi. Unlike most A.I., this one has a bit of an attitude and constantly points out all of Phil’s flaws and makes his life a living hell. Jexi actually, wants to make Phil’s life better but most everything backfires. Things get even more complicated when the phone gets jealous of Phil’s budding relationship with Cate.
“Jexi” is not a good film, but thanks to some truly funny writing delivered by Rose Byrne’s Jexi, there are a handful of laughs throughout the brisk 82-minute run time. I also found Devine and Shipp to be charming at times. I can’t say the same for the wasted Michael Peña who plays Phil’s boss, Kai. If you like the cast, you might enjoy Jexi as well, just don’t go in with any high expectations.
By: Marc Ferman