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*** This review may contain spoilers ***
How many things can weird, overly-openly-honest hippies do to make an
average, city-bred couple feel uncomfortable? Well, about as many
things as make the audience uncomfortable and that's not such a
terrible thing if Judd Apatow's producing. This has his signature
over-the-top bodily function humor written, drawn and painted all over
it. Story centers on Paul Rudd and Jennifer Aniston who, after both
losing their jobs and driving to Rudd's obnoxious money-loving
brother's house, happen upon a bed and breakfast harboring the oddest
lot of hippies you'll ever experience.
Going far beyond the clichés of pot smoking and artsy-fartsy naval-gazing, these people watch you go to the bathroom, exchange partners, and give birth right on the porch. The residents are too silly to be real, especially Justin Theroux as the picture-perfect bearded leader: a cross between Charles Manson and a game show host.
But this is really about Rudd's constantly shocked reactions to the craziness occurring around him. With an old-school vulnerable nice guy humor the likes of Richard Benjamin, Albert Brooks, and Alan Alda (the latter playing the commune's dazed owner), Rudd has enough charm to rise above a somewhat (if not deliberately) banal script. And while Aniston is, once again, playing herself, she and Rudd make a good couple who happen upon a gratuitous Twilight Zone episode that, while not being very funny, sure isn't boring.
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*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Wanderlust is a hilarious film with some interesting characters and a
funny story. The film stars Paul Rudd and Jennifer Aniston as George
and Linda, a happily married couple who just bought a new studio
apartment in New York. After George loses his job and Linda gets passed
on by HBO, they reluctantly move to Atlanta to live with George's
On the way there, they stop at what they think is a bed and breakfast place, only to find out that they have stumbled upon a hippie community. After being annoyed about how his brother is treating, George suggests that they go back to the community, where they decide that is where they should be.
The story is a fun one and is well worth the time. Director David Wain, whose previous film was the Paul Rudd/Seann William Scott vehicle Role Models, does a great job of keeping a consistent pace and letting the actors make creative and funny characters.
Out of the supporting the cast, the standout is Justin Theroux as Seth. Alan Alda is a riot as one of the co-founders of the commune. Joe Lo Truglio gets some laughs as a nudist wine maker/novelist. Malin Akerman, Kerri Kenney-Silver, Lauren Ambrose, and Kathryn Hahn all do fine in their roles, but none of them stand out.
Wanderlust seemed to depict the consumer culture as a place I want to
flee from as well - job I hate, SUV's, cheating husbands, rude
children, racist bosses, poor work conditions and plastic neighborhoods
with huge houses and no trees. I remember, now, why I gave up my car
and house for a tent and bicycle and headed out in search of a more
sustainable way of life! The sense of connection, freedom and fun that
the two main characters experienced at the commune often felt like a
dream life come true. From the nude grape stomping to the huge fruit
and vegetable stand to the sense of vulnerability and transparency
(though sometimes too much...no doors on the bathrooms? that's a little
much!), Elysium Bed and Breakfast seemed like a place I would surely
want to visit and would likewise find a lot of inner transformation.
Though the stereotypes got a little old after awhile, as did some of the forced humorous moments, I left the theater feeling refreshed knowing that each of us can do what we love and create the life we have dreamed of. What is your dream? To watch my dream, visit www.withinreachmovie.com, a documentary film about my partner and I on a 6,500 mile bicycle journey to visit and document 100 sustainable communities around the US!
Wanderlust is a funny movie. Not a bad waste of your time, but it's just not going to make the list of other great Paul Rudd comedies like Anchorman and 40 year old virgin because the rest of the cast just didn't crack you up in the same way. One scene in fact with Rudd will have you scream laughing and bent over in hilarious pain. But aside from Rudd, the other characters were okay. Just okay. Wanderlust unravels a bit at the end and just wraps up in too tight of a bow to be believable anymore. Lots of male nudity, whatever than means to you! If your going to the movies to see a comedy then this is your pick. Otherwise, wait for DVD as this will make you laugh, just enough to satisfy but not enough to remember.
The beginning started really funny with some genuinely laugh out loud
moments... But within 20 minutes the entire movie turned upside down
with crass moments and extremely unfunny one liners. I was really
disappointed as I love both Jennifer Aniston and Paul Rudd as comedic
actors but both failed miserably in this film. There is a lot of
unwarranted nudity.. (men's bits dangling in your face). Followed by
uncomfortable pointless scenes. Don't waste two hours of your life on
this film as you WILL be so annoyed with yourself for not listening to
my advise .
2/10 max! Go and rent a different DVD
If you are addicted to movies, this could be a cure.
An unfunny comedy with a deep and accidental message that we are devolving.
Writing, acting, directing, editing -- mediocre at best. The characters are all superficial, unimportant and unbelievable. Some of the scenes were unsettling rather than comedic and some were actually painful to watch.
It was a long 90 minutes -- time wasted that will not be returned.
This thing will disappear quickly, if we are lucky. If not there will be sequels.
George (Paul Rudd) and Linda (Jennifer Aniston) are practical and
realistic people in love. They can't afford to live in New York City
anymore so they are off to Atlanta. On the way they run into some
hippies, their first instinct is to run away. Unfortunately, George's
brother-in-law is an inappropriate asshole so they are back to the
hippie commune, even though first instincts are always right.
The first of many problems is the title. Wanderlust means an innate desire to live on the road, to be always travelling, never staying, and for no real reason. Hence, lusting for wandering wanderlust. George and Linda leave New York City out of necessity and travel (basically straight) to the hippie commune. They are not wanderers. The hippies live in a home that they own. They never leave and they never want to. They are not wanderers. The producers just wanted a catchy title and money. I do not like that.
I do like Paul Rudd and Jennifer Aniston. A lot. I did laugh at Rudd's occasional moments of physical comedy, but that was it. The rest of the movie was lame sex jokes. Remember this was produced by Judd Apatow but it was not written or directed by him. It was missing a touch of sophistication and consistency to the characters and a level of human understanding and empathy. This was movie was brought to you by some guys who watched a Judd Apatow movie and then while smoking pot liked the idea of free love, man.
I don't like hippies, although I can tolerate the harmless kind. These hippies weren't real hippies, they were all just a conglomeration of all the various stereotypes. Which is too bad because I like Kathryn Hahn and she can play a hippie (see Our Idiot Brother). This hippie commune is populated with a leader who says it's not a commune but an "intentional community" because when we say commune it makes people think of hippies sitting around smoking pot and playing guitar. Don't worry Rudd just looks at him with his sarcastic smirk (as I said, he was the good part). The other good part, which proves how poorly this was made, was Alan Alda's character. He bought the place in 1971 with 9 other people all with the false hippie ideals of nature, sharing and free love. What we don't see enough of is how he is no longer a hippie. If they wanted to add an intelligent thought to the movie, or some good acting, they could have done it there.
I guess I'm going to have to settle for Rudd and Aniston's previous collaboration "The Object of My Affection" which even after countless of viewings is funnier than "Wanderlust".
Unemployed New York couple lose the mortgage on their 'microloft' and travel by car to Atlanta (to work in the Porta-Potty industry with the husband's obnoxious brother); on their way, a car accident leaves the marrieds stranded at a hippie commune in the woods where, initially, the free-living, free-loving lifestyle appeals to the emotionally-stressed and financially-strapped twosome. An alleged comedy, co-written, directed, and produced by David Wain--who apparently had help, though it doesn't show. Full of loathsome, offensive characters and jokes, edited in a sledgehammer fashion. Paul Rudd and Jennifer Aniston do have some appealing moments in the film's opening, but it's a long road downhill from there, what with an abundance of in-your-face toilet humor which may have been somewhat more successful had the rest of this disaster not been covered in flop sweat. * from ****
there are SOME funny spots but the sheer # of F-bombs totally ruins this - I swear, there were fewer F-bombs in "Platoon"! and there's even one scene where the guy says F-U to a 10-yr old girl! COME ON! GROW UP ... and if there was ANY hype to presenting a 'pro-nudist' perspective - well, you can just about forget it (altho the 'nudist author comes close as he's a good guy presenting a good 'example') but the crashing car scene causing 6 or 7 nudists to "run for their lives in slow motion" was the ONLY "nudist scene" lasting more than 3.5 seconds! SAVE you money - this was way over-hyped because of the 'couple' protagonists!
My husband and I do enjoy comedies. We loved The Hangover and recently 21 Jump Street, but this movie was pathetic. I really thought it was going to be good by the first 1/2 hour of laughs. Well boy did the movie go downhill fast. In the beginning of the movie, the scenes when they were contemplating purchasing a 'microloft' were cute. The dialog and the singing in the car was hysterical. Other than that, we were sorry that we bothered to attend the screening. And there was no reason for having Alan Alda in the movie at all. My husband and I kept looking at each other as so many people around us were laughing throughout the movie. I am so glad that I didn't pay for this and would love to have the hours back that we wasted on line and viewing it.
Tired of Jennifer this and Jennifer that. Her crap stinks like everyone
else's does. If Jennifer was to do a nude scene like Monica Bellucci,
Heather Graham or Charlotte Rampling does, then it might be worth
seeing. Not gonna happen.
And Alan Alda, I mean ALANNNNNNNNNNNNN AWLDA with a pronounced nasal banality lilt, is enough to ruin any film. Who said he is talented and funny? He is a schmuck. Boring, snobbish, condescending aloofness, talks through his Yankee nose and just all around disgusting to hear and see on the screen.
Paul Rudd, he's funny. Too bad he's in this movie with Jennifer and Alannnnnnnnnnnn AWLDA.
These days, a Judd Apatow production merely signifies a series of
vulgar jokes paired with copious amounts of nudity (more male than
female). Wanderlust could have been more. Sadly, the film veers off
onto an unpredictable and foolish path that finds its characters'
motives and settlements clashing with the marginally likable setup. The
fish-out-of-water premise is a solid one and Wanderlust is not without
laughs; but an abundance of crude ruses overpowers the eccentricities
of the characters while hit-or-miss humor fills pointless sequences
that fail to move the plot forward. The energy of Wanderlust's
promising beginning fizzles quickly and the production ends up
mimicking its confused and restless protagonists for the majority of
Just as New York couple George (Paul Rudd) and Linda (Jennifer Aniston) finally commit to purchasing an apartment, sudden unemployment forces them to give up their new dream and head to Atlanta to stay with George's brother. Stopping at a wayside bed and breakfast, the couple discovers Elysium, a free-spirited commune where peace, love and happiness abound as does a host of bizarre nudists and hippies, led by the brusque but eloquent Seth (Justin Theroux). Seduced by their carefree lifestyle, Linda elects to stay, but George isn't as easily dazzled and soon becomes vexed by the group's unorthodox and outlandish customs.
There's a lot missing from Wanderlust. It feels like 30 minutes or more have been noticeably expunged from key areas that would have established characters and running jokes (made more apparent from the theatrical trailer, which shows several scenes that never make it into the final cut). The conclusion isn't based on anything previously hinted at, the antagonist is appropriated without warning just to provide villainy, and abrupt decisions are made by unprovoked characters, resulting in a gaping lack of realism. The initial proposition is a one-note gag that sets up potential but is never given a chance to blossom. Every time locations or characters are introduced, many are ignored, forgotten, or left devoid of humorous implications. Even the most obvious involvement, such as George's brother manning a Porta-Potty company, never gets an opportunity to present the simplest, go-to gross-out skit that inevitably rears its head when dealing with carriageable sanitation units.
Thick, palpable sarcasm permeates all of Paul Rudd's lines while Aniston is utilized primarily for physical comedy. The opening scene is well done, with creative editing, weird expressions and montage, but after about fifteen minutes or so, the humor begins to dwindle rapidly. With expected stereotypes and generic sidekicks that include an obnoxious brother, a foul-mouthed kid, a crazy old man, a longhaired mantra-spewing hippie guru, and a young blonde female with evanescent inhibitions, nothing particularly unique is submitted. Nonsense takes over when verbal comedy ceases, and uncomfortable or disgustingly awkward situations shoulder those moments when absurdity stops working. It's troublesome when end credit bloopers are funnier than anything in the film. Based on early screenings and gossip, the only thing Wanderlust is likely to be remembered for is Jennifer Aniston's nude scene, which was filmed but then removed from the theatrical version.
- The Massie Twins (GoneWithTheTwins.com)
Wanderlust is a yo-yo film.
I like the idea of yo-yoing. The first drop and return is thrilling but thereafter, unless in the hands of an expert, it peters out. The drops become deeper and slower, the returns never quite making it until finally, either it gives up or you do. And so it is with Wanderlust.
Directed by David Wain, it teams Jennifer Aniston and Paul Rudd as a couple for the third time after a stint in Friends and The Object of My Affection. I hope this is their last film together as, on the evidence to hand, with each teaming their relationships and the quality of their work together diminish. I'd like to say it isn't their fault but they both read the script and took the pay cheque so, yes, they have to take some blame. Maybe they were struggling to pay the rent.
At greater fault, and possibly beyond forgiveness, are the producers who green-lit Wanderlust and David Wain who also co-wrote it. It's a fun idea for a light rom-com (professional couple George and Linda leave New York with nothing to show for their life's work but a car filled with boxes, a job offer with George's obnoxious brother is too much to bear so they join a hippy-ish commune on a trial basis) and has enough potential for a light, easy, pleasant waste of an evening. Unfortunately the potential is barely realized and it serves to pass only twenty minutes or so before hope of more laughter fades.
Yes, there are a few laugh-out-loud moments and some genuinely funny one-liners but far too many of the gags take so long to set up and reach the punchline that you've started counting the ceiling tiles before the film remembers to entertain again. Too many jokes are repeated, and not just once or twice, that they become tedious. It worked for Reggie Perrin, it doesn't for Wanderlust. Several jokes worked superbly in the trailer because they were tightly edited but in the full feature they bomb. Some of the alleged humour is so cringe worthy I actually hid behind my hand and had to stifle audible groans of embarrassment.
I wanted to like it. Rudd is generally a good comedic foil and Aniston has produced some fun variations of Rachel and a couple in complete contrast, not least in the superior Horrible Bosses last year. But the occasional laugh, some attractive nudity (and some not so pleasurable) and a few star names cannot compensate for the wafer-thin plot, the stereotypes, the 'damn, we've got five minutes to finish this film' attitude to the end and stodgy, lazy scripting.
Like the prosthetic penis on frequent display, you'll notice it and laugh at first but in hindsight you'll realize it was always limp.
Wanderlust has a few good moments, but it is just not that good or funny of a movie. Most of the movies problems seem to be from the product of a weak script. The film has a few very funny moments, but a lot of other moments come off as not very funny or are dragged out way too long and just become awkward or annoying. The movie also suffers from another problem that i've noticed in comedies lately which is awkward cuts right after a joke hits a punchline, which is an issue that is present a lot in the first half of the film. By the end of the film, I couldn't help but think why did this movie even need to be made because it doesn't seem like anyone behind it had any interest or passion in really making it. Overall, Wanderlust isn't terrible, but you could never see it your whole life and you wouldn't miss out on anything. If you really feel like you need to see it then rent it. Otherwise, i'd just save your time and skip it.
When you walk into a movie by David Wainthe writer/director of
Children's Hospital and Role Modelsyou need to prepare yourself. His
humor is directed at a young audience. It also helps to be stoned. I am
the right age for a movie like this, but I failed to realize I was
supposed to be stoned. As a result, the drawn-out humor of this movie
although funny at firstusually went dry far too quickly.
Wanderlust is not what I expected it to be. The trailer is pretty much the first fifteen minutes of the movie. The actual plot of Wanderlust revolves around a commune that pulls in two city-folkJennifer Aniston and Paul Rudd. Paul Rudd has already proved himself to be a great actor is Wain's over-the-top movie with Role Models. Aniston has not. Her lacking acting ability has thrown many a movie into the crap pile. Unfortunately, Wanderlust is her next victim.
There are plenty of good aspects to Wanderlust. I found myself laughing several times. The problem was that the joke would continue on for several more minuteslong past its expiration. I can't help but recall a scene where Paul Rudd stands in front of a mirror talking to himself for almost five minutes. It just kept going and going and going.
Alan Alda was the redemptive role that brought this movie to life. As the original founder of the commune back in the 1960's, Alda plays the role of a senile man who lost a good majority of his sanity to acid. His role allows for the rest of the over-the-top script to plant its feet in reality. Where most of this movie is bland humor, Alda's character allows for a storyline to develop.
If you are stoned, this is the movie for you. If you aren't, but enjoy the humor of Adult Swim, this movie will be somewhat enjoyable (still not better than any episode of Futurama). If you aren't stoned and don't know what Adult Swim is, this is not the movie for you. 2012 has been an extremely lacking year for comedy. Hopefully we can see that change next week with Project X.
Wanderlust tries and tries to make you laugh, but with the level of
profanity and the weird nudity sessions, all I felt was disgusted and I
left with a bad after taste.
Wanderlust is a certified box office bomb just making 21 out of the 35 million spent on production. Filming took place mostly in Georgia, the director David Wain who is also the writer kept fans update on the production progress on his blog, but failed to tell them that they will be wasting their time if they go see the movie.
I'm not a fan of listening to critics thoroughly, although I enjoy reading their comments but I have to admit with them this movie is crap.
The movie did boast of many jokes thrown here and there, problem is none quite hit home for me, having a movie showcasing nudist and hippies and free thinking may be a good thing on paper but mix that with Jennifer Aniston and Paul Rudd pairing up is a bad idea, even on paper. The on-screen chemistry was not there, they looked more like cousins than a couple (arguable siblings).
The plot show cases a couple who stay together George (Paul Rudd) and Linda (Jennifer Aniston), George loses his job and Aniston who is unemployed find themselves with only one option; move in with George's egotistic brother in Atlanta.
On their way there, they had an accident and stumbled upon Elysium, a community filled with characters who don't believe in Money, Careers or Clothes. The couple found a home in this community and decides to give it a twirl.
The actors in this movie must have failed a course in acting class or either missed the class called, "How to act", all the cast except from the two leads were either over-acting or either not interested in what was going on. The directing and the get together looks like someone must have been high on cheap drugs to put it all together, as David both wrote and directed it he must have thought (while high) that using swear words and nudity will be better than using proper lines.
This is not Paul Rudd and Jennifer Aniston's first time of working together, they both co-starred together in 18 episodes of the sitcom "Friends" where Paul played Phoebe's love interest turned husband. Aniston has done some pretty good movies over the years before this movie was the hit "HorribleBosses" but this like "Just Go With It" (which also starred Adam Sandler) is not it at all.
Save you money save your time, go see another movie.
HILARIOUS! holy... crap. I can barely even hold in the laughter
whenever I think of this movie, which I saw twice. Funniest movie I've
seen since Dumb and Dumber! haha, it's relentless. Can't wait to buy
this one! wanna have a couple hour vacation? watch wanderlust. it's
freakin ridiculously funny. hehehe anybody who's seen it will laugh at
this: "cut two...." this movie saved 2012, and it's worth me vouching
for 2012 movies in the future, as long as this is the only one in
contention. I'm not kidding, go see it. oh yeah, too much male nudity,
but it's not like... all the time. just a little really. some people
were laughing at it though, so i can't really hate. The movie is about
as deep as this review is, and as meandering.
hehe..... "suck on it."
Wanderlust .is this a test to see how gross and raunchy a movie can be before people just say enough already? Because if it is, I'm saying enough already. I adore Paul Rudd and Jennifer Aniston is always fun to watch. But this movie could have been so much better, so much funnier without all the gratuitous sleaze. Rudd standing in front of a mirror spouting five minutes of pure trashy, tacky talk almost made that sweet, lovable guy disgusting. If this is the best sort of film that can be made and boy, there's been a lot of them lately perhaps people need to be avoiding going to the theater altogether until things change. If pictures like Hugo, Descendants, Midnight in Paris, to name only a few, can be made, why is it necessary for money, time and talent to be wasted on stuff like this? There have been so many good movies made .50/50, Sherlock Holmes, The Green Lantern I could go on for pages but there have been so many ugly, trashy films made in the meantime. too. And I could easily name them, but why bother? Doesn't anyone look at those tacky things, or stop and really listen to them while they're being filmed, and wonder why? Who's money is being spent on them? And again, why? Perhaps if a whole lot of money was being thrown at me, I'd allow myself to sink to the level of some actors and actresses of late and be in one of these lower class pictures but then again, maybe not. Maybe I'd think, do I want my family, the world, to remember me in something like this, and I'd be smart enough to turn down the big bucks. Some of these stars should have done that very thing. Like I said, this could have been a really cool movie it had some funny moments but for the most part, I'd say this was gross.
This is so *funny!*! I fully enjoyed it, and continued to laugh all the way home! So many 1-liners, and scenes that crack you up! It's a great date, or rejuvenate the relationship flick! For those that say the nudity is crude- are just programmed to believe full frontal nudity, particularly men ought not exist, unless 20-something and buff! and 36D Women are just 'fine' ... it's LOL! There is no raunchy or even 'sexy' sex scenes, certainly less sexually-explicit images than any prime-time TV show in your own living room. Of course there is a lot of conversation about the topic, but again, there is far more explicit information on TV... Michaela Watkins is a RIOT! I really would love to see more of the interactions between her and Jennifer Aniston's character. Paul Rudd is consistently good! However, Michaela Watkins just made us laugh a lot!; She has got to be the most talented, yet under-rated, actress out there these days! I give [+2] = a "10" because of Michaela! (otherwise an 8.) ***enjoy!!!***
I did not see this at the cinema and so I bought the DVD today. The extras are not up to the usual standard of a David Wain DVD, a bit scarce compared to Role Models or Wet Hot American Summer. The 5 out of 10 I give to the talented Paul Rudd. I think I laughed once or twice and it couldn't of been that funny because I can't remember the joke and I only watched it a couple of hours ago. It is criminal that Paul Rudd is doing stuff like this he deserves a whole lot better. The dirty talk bits were cringe-worthy,the rest of the cast were wasted, there was too much over acting and stupid dialogue. I think Paul Rudd is doing another movie with David Wain in the coming months,I hope it's a vast improvement on Wanderlust.
I definitely did laugh a few times during this. But what's really sad is that the most my husband and I laughed was at the outtakes in the credits (and of course, the bathroom mirror scene). I found myself so IRRITATED at all of the characters through the whole movie. There were times that I just wanted reach through the screen and smack someone. And there are a few scenes that are just so awkward that they make you want to shut it off. I mean, there's awkward-funny and then there's awkward-annoying. This was awkward-annoying. I really like Paul Rudd and sometimes Jennifer Aniston. And I like about 75% of Judd Appatows movies (generally the ones where he doesn't cast his wife who can't act worth a sh*t). I wanted to like this and I really do feel like the idea was good and it could have gone a different way and been a really good film. But unfortunately the script just doesn't work. Save yourself the money and time. Rent something else.
The film is mediocre at best. It does try a little too hard and jokes
come out flat. Granted, there are a few very funny bits in it. I
enjoyed it to a point, I probably wouldn't watch it again and upon
viewing, the novelty of it all wears off.
The one saving grace this film had was Paul Rudd. Anything he's in I personally think he's brilliant in and I can include this film into a long list.
Overall, there are a few funny parts but there are too many unfunny parts which drag it all down and quite frankly, could've been a lot better. Especially with such an interesting plot.
Preview not Review I don't know this movie yet in any way except for a star or two pictured in the ad, but i'm encouraged first of all by the good reviews about a serious issue and films are meant to entertain? If they don't why go...so this seems to succeed on that front..but these kinds of themes were fictionalized at the beginning of the century in all kinds of novels i recall reading them,and it has taken time and I have put this film on my radar to beam into, as a way of living the present and as a way of seeing that old stories and good plot lines always reinvent themselves in new situations...how many really new plots are there...its the old stories with modern twists and turns,and captivating artists and that makes a film worthwhile...wanderlust empties our unconscious doesn't it??
Big city couple George and Linda(Paul Rudd and Jennifer Aniston) decide
to move away, after there work life has gone up in smoke. While on
there travel they come across a hippie commune led by Cavin(Alan Alda).
They quickly start to enjoy that lifestyle, has they really begin to
settle in. But will this change be good for both them?
The problem here in the beginning for me, is that Paul Rudd and Jennifer Aniston where not established enough, I felt they where just through in at random. Paul Rudd and Jennifer Aniston are just doing there thing like they do in comedies. But the jokes just overdue itself to the point where it's not funny anymore. Alan Alda does alright with the dialog he's giving. Malin Ackerman should have been giving more to do here. All in all, not an all terrible film, but not great either.
Satirizing the '70's hippy syndrome with a contemporary twist is
laudable, but Wanderlust misses at every turn, or set piece, as no
serious attempt at depth is apparent. To juxtapose contemporary shallow
and money-centered values with the now ancient virtuousness mixed with
free love is laudable but here terribly flawed. Besides, although it
would like to be called a screwball comedy, most of us would see the
slow delivery of flat jokes as just screwing a hopeful audience.
Linda (Jennifer Aniston) and George (Paul Rudd) need a simpler life as the Manhattan couple lose their jobs and retreat to a commune and sometime nudist colony called Elysium. Not only are the denizens not particularly fetching in their altogether, the set pieces and dialogue are lame to sub-lame throughout.
The satire of our need to release ourselves from the bonds of fast-paced Manhattan-like living to a relaxed land of no obligations rarely evokes even mild laughter. The regular appearance of writer Wayne (Joe Lo Truglio) with his penis dangling frequently in George's face reveals the weak gag life of the film, or should I say it provokes gagging? George's attempt to defecate while communers talk to him in the doorless bathroom is as good an example of the privacy motif gone bad.
The humor of "Wanderlust" and hippie communes share a similar mantra:
embrace it or get the heck out. "Role Models" director David Wain and
comedian Ken Marino have written a genuinely funny movie, only one
that's kind of pasted together like a spontaneous collage of humorous
characters and moments rather than strung together with any notion of a
In that sense, it's almost a miracle "Wanderlust" works at all. A chance encounter with a hippie bed and breakfast and an impulsive decision to live free of social constructs hardly qualifies for conflict-resolution storytelling, but several colorful characters and a pair of likable leads maintain our curiosity as to what might happen next.
George (Paul Rudd) and Linda (Jennifer Aniston) have just purchased an apartment in New York City. Days later, George finds himself jobless thanks to an FBI investigation shutting down his company and Linda fails to successfully pitch her hard-hitting penguin documentary to HBO. They then head for Georgia to stay with George's successful brother (Ken Marino) and his family, but after a night's stay in "Elysium," they determine that a little detachment could be a good thing.
Although rarely the source of humor, Aniston reminds us she's an effortless leading lady that can roll with any kind of comedy. Rudd offers the usual charms and some dynamite improv. A scene where he psychs himself up in the mirror could be considered one of his best ever. It certainly ranks as the film's most hysterical moment.
As for the ensemble at large, Elysium teems with curious characters, including a nudist winemaker/aspiring author (Joe Lo Truglio), a spiritually virile classical guitar player that everyone adores (Justin Theroux) and a free-love yoga teacher (Malin Ackerman) among others. Rather than being pure stereotypes of hippies and eccentrics, the actors genuinely embody their characters. Not every bit is funny, but few lapse into unfunny territorythat is so long as Wain's mix of deadpan and obscene humor works for you.
George and Linda's two-week trial run puts their marriage to the test of course, but little of that matters. In a way it works, because inserting straight scenes with the intent of drumming up the marital conflict would have marred the pacing, not to mention been remarkably unoriginal. On the other hand, it's tough to feel anything when the couple is at odds over whether they should have a sexually liberated marriage. So long as their attempt to do so yields comic results (and it sure does), who cares?
Oddly enough, "Wanderlust" warrants numerous comparisons to the free-spirited lifestyle it both celebrates and pokes fun at. Although contemporary R-rated comedy techniques abound, (At what point will comedies decide to stop barraging audiences with flopping penises?) they seem less contrived in this movie. Everything feels more organic and care-free. Maybe it's as simple as the fact that nudists and hallucinogenics make more sense in a movie about hippies, but either way it works.
But more than that, it's the choice to avoid the obvious contemporary jokes that sit right in front of our noses that earns "Wanderlust" kudos. Not one scene deals with either George or Linda getting frustrated over bad cell phone reception or saying or doing anything to debase or devalue the commune or the lifestyle there for the sake of humor. That fact will go under- appreciated by most viewers.
"Wanderlust" essentially lives and dies with its purposelessness. So many comedies self-inflict their wounds by trying to create and maintain too much of a logical plot, whereas this one spares us the trouble. At the same time, a noteworthy premiseexecuted well or notseizes the necessary attention for audiences to feel invested in a comedy.
Like its title implies, this movie meanders spontaneously in search of only laughs. It's the kind of strategy that will likely divide audiences, but those like myself who feel Wain and company pulled it off will develop a sizable soft spot for this simple but quirky comedy.
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...he then met Jennifer Aniston in "Wanderlust"...and it went all
downhill from there...enough said! A painful, awkward mess masquerading
as a comedy ensued, with lacklustre performances, no on-screen
chemistry whatsoever and Aniston finally being able to find employment
for her hippie boyfriend
Looking at Aniston's lifeless face and dull eyes, I started thinking that she is actually a genius, I mean, with "Wanderlust" she managed to both stay employed AND have sex with her boyfriend while working!
Rich people call that Hollywood Heaven, if I tried to do the same, I would call it The Unemployment Line/Welfare Row...
Now I know what Ryan Seacrest felt like when Ali-G Borat "The Dictator" Bruno spilled Kim Jong Il's ashes all over his tuxedo!
Sometimes things have a strange way of working out. Like when your life seems to be sliding down hill and then all of a sudden things start going your way, all because of some chance encounter, or was it chance? That is the theme of this movie. The movie contains some very amusing scenes, and Jennifer Aniston once again proves that she is one of the best comic actresses in Hollywood today. Her performance in this movie is endearing; she is thoroughly likable and carries the movie. The plot is shallow with no surprises, but so what? It is a comedy and it is is entertaining. The movie is a satire on family, materialism, work, and the whole back-to-earth movement. Some scenes are hilarious. Paul Rudd gives another strong performance as Ms. Aniston's harried husband. The movie contains some full frontal nudity but it's not gratuitous and actually adds to the humor.
Paul Rudd has a vulgar but hilarious "mirror" scene in this film (watch it and see what I mean), Jennifer Aniston has a hilarious scene where she drinks some drugged tea and has an "Easy Rider" like trip culminating in her believing she can fly and Alan Alda has a hilarious bit as a senile hippie. There I have just named the only good things in this film. I desperately wanted to like Wanderlust because it tried to be original, however originality doesn't always guarantee a good movie and this is a case in point. I almost felt like I had stepped into a time machine watching this the way it showed communes, hippies, drug use and free love. This movie might have been better made forty years ago! It seems so out of place today. Wanderlust has enough nudity and foul language in it for about five movies and George's brother Rick has got to be the most obnoxious pig I have ever seen in a movie. Just his few minutes on screen ruined it for me.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
For one of the most famous actresses in her day, Jennifer Aniston has
played second banana to a hell of a lot of less famous actors. I mean,
pretty much all women in Hollywood have to play that wife/girlfriend
role. However, it's one thing to play the wife of Jim Carey, or even
the wife of Owen Wilson and the girlfriend of Ben Stiller. But Aniston
has now played the lesser part opposite Paul Rudd, Aaron Eckhart, Jason
Bateman and Steve Zahn. Steve motherbleepin' Zahn?!? And we're not
talking about films she did at the start of her career. These were
roles she decided to take after becoming a global celebrity on Friends.
Curious careers choices aside, Wanderlust is probably the best and
funniest yet of Aniston's "Wait, isn't she a much bigger star than
him?" movies. It does crumble at the end into a pile of cheap, easy and
hackneyed rubble, but it starts very strong and has a lot of humor of
both the crude and clever varieties.
George and Linda (Paul Rudd and Jennifer Aniston) are a New York City couple who just bought their first apartment, one that's a combination of extremely small and quite expensive. Then George loses his job and Linda's latest flight of fancy as a documentarian goes down in flames and they're forced to sell their micro-home and move to Atlanta so George can take a job with his psychotically obnoxious brother (Ken Marino). On the way down, they're forced to spend the night at Elysium, an "intended community" full of free spirited hippies and they're confidently out-of-touch guru Seth (Justin Theroux). They have the night of their lives and after experiencing the horror of living with George's brother, they flee back to Elysium where the exciting George persuades the reluctant Linda to try living there for two weeks. Well, Linda completely blossoms in the chaotic environment while George comes to loath it, driving a wedge between the two when George challenges Linda about Elysium's embrace of free love, thinking she won't go along with it but she, of course, immediately does. There's also a subplot about developers looking to build a casino on the site of the commune, but that and everything else gets wrapped up in the abrupt, arbitrary and pulled-out-of-thin-air conclusion.
Now, a lot of the comedy in Wanderlust is broad, obvious and in the vein of "Look how wacky these hippies are!" It's still pretty damn funny and some of it's a good deal smarter than that. The opening scenes, which are almost like an extended montage, of George and Linda's life in New York do a great job of elevating, mocking and then crushing their dreams. And the gamut of emotions the couple run through on their regretful drive down to Atlanta quickly builds a level of depth into their relationship and makes their audience more invested in what happens to them. Nothing after that is as well written, but there are plenty of good jokes and absurd moments.
It does seem like they got 3/4ths of the way through Wanderlust and only then realized they didn't have ending to story, so the Almighty Plot Hammer is brought to bear and an avalanche of nudity is used to cover for the character development that's skipped over. By that point, though, you'll probably have enjoyed the movie enough not to care and everything will get wrapped up fast enough not to bother you.
Aniston, Rudd and Theroux are splendid and the rest of the cast, especially Alan Alda, are charming enough in their one-note roles. Co-writer/director David Wain also shows a fine hand. There's plenty of comedy in Wanderlust and from the briefest lines to more extended gags, he gives it all the right amount of time, space and rhythm.
This isn't a great film but it's pretty good, even if you think you've had your fill of R-rated comedies. I do hope Aniston stops this pattern before she winds up playing Mrs. Robinson in a remake of The Graduate starring one of the guys from The Jersey Shore.
Wanderlust has lingered positively in my psyche the past couple days
since i went to the opening in Madison, WI
I am shocked that they did such a wonderful job of balancing poking fun at the IC movement with refraining from slandering the movement. They even made fun of the mainstream world even more (with the negativity portrayed by people in the mainstream).
I was even more shocked that they put some GREAT political statements in, and even showed some of the positive sides of the IC movement.
My partner Mandy and I are actually releasing soon a documentary called "Within Reach" which is about our similar story to these main characters. We left our corporate jobs in 2007, got on bicycles, and traveled 6500 miles around the USA for 2 years to visit 100 sustainable intentional communities. look for our movie spring 2012. it's on IMDb. just look up within reach. or go to withinreachmovie . com
Found myself craving the wonderful connections those people in the movie had...and realize why I made my movie again. :)
I am moving to Dancing Rabbit Ecovillage with Mandy as of March 3 in Rutledge, MO
Come visit us and stay at A REAL Intentional community B&B Eco-inn the "Milkweed Mercantile at Dancing Rabbit Ecovillage.
By the way I could totally tell that the movie "Together" influenced "Wanderlust!" (naked lady in the kitchen...naked guy in the house) ;) (i have been in touch with the Director David Wain and he told me "Together" is a favorite of his...i love it too...it's about a commune in Sweden"
by the way..they sure picked a guy with a long penis. why? i would have picked a guy with a more "average" sized penis ;) just a curiosity ;)
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