MOVIE REVIEW: WANDERLUST
Director: David Wain
Screenplay: David Wain & Ken Marino
Paul Rudd as George
Jennifer Aniston as Linda
Malin Akerman as Eva
Justin Theroux as Seth
Alan Alda as Carvin
Joe Lo Truglio as Wayne Davidson
Lauren Ambrose as Almond
TRT: 100 minutes, (R) for sexual content, graphic nudity, language and drug use
Peacock Feathers: 1 1/2 out of 5
By: Marcus Thorpe
It’s official, I am breaking up with Paul Rudd! Things got rocky in I love you man, but we still shared a few laughs. Then Dinner For Schmucks came along, and we realized we were different people, but still decided to hang on to what we once had. Our Idiot Brother, well, that was just the end, is this all that is left? Now Wanderlust and I just can’t take it anymore. The funny has left our relationship, and he won’t change his ways. This time he tries, he really tries to bring you back, he even brings Jennifer Aniston with him to try and sweeten the pot. And while you will laugh out loud a few times in Wanderlust, you start to wonder to yourself, how many times can they cross the line between funny and just plain out stupid.
George and Linda are a young couple, taking a big step in their lives; they are going to be property owners. They are based in New York and while George makes a nice living, Linda is a floundering documentary maker who isn’t making any money, so they can only afford a small studio apartment. Well, they could afford it, George loses his job, and they lose the place, meaning they are homeless, and have to slink to Georgia to stay with George’s awful, patronizing, but rich brother. On their way there they decide they can’t be in the car anymore and pull off to spend the night at what they think is a bed and breakfast. After being greeted by a naked hiker, they realize that the bed and breakfast is like nothing they have ever seen. Elysium is full of interesting and colorful characters that believe in living from the earth, some believe in clothes, others, not so much, and of course they believe in a little free love with no boundaries. Is this just the start the couple needs or will it pull them apart?
Look, I’m all for funny, when it is organic and natural, here nearly every line seems forced. Rudd really wants you to like him, he is really trying to be funny, and that is the biggest problem. Rudd is just funny, his faces, his tone, but he can’t get out of his own way. There is one scene that if you see this film you will know exactly what I am talking about. Rudd gets face to face with himself in a mirror. He is talking himself into having sex with another woman in the commune that is not his wife, and he is doing a little “dirty talk”. The scene is probably a minute total, you wish it was only 15 seconds, it feels like 15 excruciating minutes. Each joke is worse than the next, his different voices are not funny in the least, it is a fail, a BIG fail. Jennifer Aniston is not my favorite actress. She has had some decent moments for me in movies, but mostly I feel like she never wows you with anything she does. Here, she is actually one of the stronger parts of the film. She is cute, she is funny, and she has some really nice moments with her now boyfriend Justin Theroux who plays her commune guru, life coach. But her chemistry with Rudd, which is paramount to this film working, isn’t there. Just like in the monumental flop from my perspective “The Break-Up”, she doesn’t mesh well with her leading men. The best part of the film is really the surrounding cast once they get to the commune. All of the characters are pretty funny, pretty interesting, and it makes the movie bearable, well almost bearable.
Direction & Writing:
There is something that I felt might be the case, and wasn’t sure if that really would be until I saw the credits, this had a bit of Judd Apatow in it. Pushing the boundaries past the point of humor and into the world of ridiculousness. Then there it was, Wanderlust: Produced by: Judd Apatow. One of the lines a leading member of the commune says is, “I have what some people call diarrhea of the mouth,“ I get the feeling sometimes that Apatow has diarrhea of the pen. He has so many good thoughts, so many funny lines, that he uses all of them, even the ones that if you said them out loud enough you would say, yeah, that’s not really funny. That should have fallen on the writers in this film, but it’s Apatow, who is going to tell him we need to edit this down a bit. At one hour and 50 minutes this movie needed to be lopped off, and cut to hit the funny notes, and leave the misses out. As far as direction, I think the storyline moved along just fine. There was a nice start, the movie actually had me hooked for a while, the characters were used in some creative and really funny ways, but funny is funny, you don’t have to try, it just is, and the writing didn’t allow that to happen.
Where did this film go wrong? Was it too many characters that all needed air time, was the writing, was it imploding chemistry between Jen and Judd? I think if you added it all up, there is plenty of blame to go around. Funny is hard, there is no magic formula, either you got it, or you don’t. Wanderlust has a funny concept, but it doesn’t deliver for the audience, and if you are over the age of 50 and don’t have that crude sense of humor, stay away, I saw a woman in her 50’s get up and leave about half way through. There is one big success from this film though! At least Jennifer Aniston has found love again!!
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So what did you think? Comment on my blog, or give the movie your grade below!Posted by on 02/24 at 01:35 PM
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