Last night I rented “The Ex,” which got a rockin’ 20% on Rotten Tomatoes. In other words, it was supposed to be terrible.
It wasn’t actually terrible. But that’s it for the movie review. I just wanted to mention something that I think they did really wrong.
The movie is more or less an extended sit-com about a guy who has to deal with a rotten co-worker. The rotten co-worker is in a wheelchair, so the protagonist has all kinds of guilt about being nasty to him.
Then, at the last minute, they pull out the twist that the wheelchair guy can actually walk. And that information, I guess, gives us all the right to hate him and want him to suffer.
And that’s what they did wrong. Let’s face it, some people in wheelchairs must be jerks, right? Some of them must be mean-spirited. It just can’t be true that when you lose your ability to walk, you suddenly gain saintliness.
So why can’t we be pissed off at a guy in a wheelchair?
At the turning point in the movie, the wheelchair guy says something along the lines of, “hey, I’ve beaten you and humiliated you on every count, and you still have the gall to feel sorry for me? Well, don’t.”
That was an interesting point. And I figured that the main guy would take that to heart and go kick some ass. But instead, wheelchair guy stands up. See, the message is: don’t feel sorry for him, because HE CAN WALK. They missed the opportunity to say, “don’t feel sorry for him, because he’s not worth it. He’s a bad person. And anyway, in case you haven’t noticed, he doesn’t need you to, ’cause he’s doing fine.”
Sigh. Those guys should have watched Murderball before making this flick. Or maybe they did, but chickened out at the last minute. Still, what can we expect from a 20% Rotten Tomato?