JEXI is basically a shorter, foul mouthed semi-parody of the film Her. And for some reason, it semi-worked for me. I went into this movie having really low expectations. I had heard nothing about it and it wasn’t screened for critics (a dismal 8% on Rotten Tomatoes right now, but you know you can only trust that site as far as you can throw it). And I knew it was from the guys (Jon Lucas, Scott Moore) that wrote The Hangover and Bad Moms (their only hits) and countless other forgettable raunchy crude humor films like Office Christmas Party. They are definitely more of a miss duo than a hit one. However, I had a slight interest in it due to the fact I find Adam DeVine charming for some reason and that the beautiful and gorgeous and underused actress Rose Byrne plays the voice of Jexi, the main character’s phone operating system (think Siri and Alexa). I have to admit though, that even with everything against it, and also due to that fact that it is predictable to a tee and are very few surprising outcomes by the end of the very short 84 minute film, I did laugh my ass off quite a bit. It’s the crude humor loser in me, I know.
I mean, does this sound familiar? A guy that has a plain old job that’s not his dream job and doesn’t really have a great connection with any human beings, only his phone, gets a new phone with a new operating system after bumping into a cutie that owns a bike shop. The new operating system is named Jexi, and she is erratic and self aware right from the get go. Jexi wants to make this guy’s life better by cursing at him, humiliating him, and yelling at him to do the things he wouldn’t normally do. But then when he gets a little too friendly with that cutie bike store owner, Jexi starts to get jealous, and with an operating system that can almost do anything and be anywhere, there’s not telling how dangerous she could end up really being. Adam DeVine is just Adam DeVine in this, but his awkward oh shucks comedic schtick still works, even if he never really shows any range. Young Storm, aka Alexandra Shipp is actually very likable as the cutie bike store owner and brings out some interesting chemistry between her and DeVine that would might’ve been plain and by the books with any other actress cast into the role. But the true star of Jexi, is none other than the great Rose Byrne.
I love Rose Byrne. You know who she is even if you don’t know who she is. She’s the wife in the Neighbors movies with Seth Rogen. She was the prissy pants in Bridesmaids. She was the bad girl in Spy with Melissa McCarthy. And she was excellent in last year’s Instant Family. She can do all ranges, I just wish that Hollywood would give her more of a central individual role in larger productions. Hell, maybe Marvel might give her a chance. Granted, she’s just a voice in this, but her voice, cursing, saying dirty shit, what have you, takes what would’ve been a God awful fucking stupid movie, and making it watchable with providing some very big laughs along the way. If there is anything in this movie to get you through the cliched and predictable short 84 minute run time, it is easily every scene where Jexi decides to open her mouth and say some heinous shit.
Ah…what to say, what to say. Kind of hard with a film that without credits is less than an hour and 20 minutes. It’s a brisk comedy that doesn’t overstay its welcome that isn’t as bad as the critics are saying it is. If you like really crude sexual and poo poo and pee pee and fart fart jokes, and like your comedy to be R rated, you’ll probably love this. The direction is kind of weird, with a lot of steady shots that turn shaky and zoom in on the actors suddenly real fast, but I guess that the directors were wanting to do a little more than just point and shoot something? I don’t know. To end this connection, here is my bottom line: if you want to watch a smart and unique film that deals with consequences of having self-aware A.I. and has a relationship with a man that has the voice of Scarlett Johansson, go watch Her. If you laugh at the thought of Rose Byrne saying to not put your phone in your back pocket because she doesn’t want to deal with your farts, while also dealing with a really cliched yet semi-passable quick romantic comedy…then Jexi is for you. Basically, a movie for your current mood. Don’t watch either with the wrong one, otherwise you might end up hating both.