I knew next to nothing about the new comedy Jexi aside from a couple of short ads and a poster at the local AMC. It looked like a warped version of the movie Her. That was a fun enough movie, but the premise there was a man and his operating system falling in love. Jexi suggested a more toxic relationship between a man and his phone.
Rotten Tomatoes gave Jexi a terrible score of 13%. So, is it that bad?
Um, not really.
Loner guy Phil (Adam DeVine) gets a new phone powered by Jexi, a new phone AI voiced by Rose Byrne. Jexi promises to make Phil’s life better. And she will whether Phil likes it or not. Sure, he may get somewhere with local bike shop owner Cate (Alexandra Shipp), but will Jexi let him do what he wants?
Mostly, Phil wants to eat the same take-out every night and watch Netflix. He doesn’t seem to mind. However, Jexi does. She will make his life better, even if he goes kicking and screaming the whole way.
Basically, this movie has what amounts to two jokes. The first is having Byrne-as-Jexi say lots of horrible things in a flat Siri-like voice. The second is Jexi is something of a possessive girlfriend type. And while that humor didn’t work so well for me, the only other people at my screening, a couple, laughed through the whole movie. Quite frankly, I didn’t think there was anything particularly bad about the movie. I just didn’t think it was funny. True, that is bad for a comedy, but comedy is subjective. I suspect it wouldn’t be a bad thing to watch on an airplane or a discount theater if the humor is your thing.
And I somehow suspect my brother and his wife would love it. This is their kind of movie. DeVine is likable enough, Michael Pena and Wanda Sykes are there to do stuff, and it wasn’t particularly awful. If anything, I wondered why the camera kept shaking throughout the movie.
I’m gonna give it a barely passing 7 out of 10 bike accidents.