Wanderlust (12/31/12)

WanderlustMovie Three Hundred One

After losing both their jobs and expensive New York City condo, a couple gets Wanderlust and decides to live in a rural commune.

George (Paul Rudd) and Linda (Jennifer Aniston) are buying a very expensive micro-loft in New York City but after Paul loses his job and Linda’s documentary about penguin testicular cancer doesn’t get picked up by HBO, the couple is forced to leave. At first they decide to stay with George’s brother, Rick (Ken Marino), in Atlanta, but on the trip down they stumble on a strange commune in the middle of nowhere. After flipping their car over, they spend the night and are greeted with open arms by the members and their leader, Seth (Justin Theroux). With no prospects back in New York or Georgia, George and Linda decide to stay but the lifestyle takes some adjustment for them.

I will admit that Wanderlust looked pretty awful from the trailers (and the completely awful cover art pictured above) but the film kind of surprised me in that I didn’t completely hate it. Paul Rudd has been one of my favorite comedic actors for some time and I’m usually keen to see whatever movie he’s starring in, with varying degrees of success. Wanderlust is a pretty dismal film, most of the humor falls completely flat, but it’s better than I expected.

For the most part, Wanderlust kind of reminds me a lot of the animated TV show King of the Hill. The humor is kind of the same low-key, easy to miss dry wit that doesn’t necessarily lend itself well to single sittings. Much of Wanderlust feels like it was written scene by scene and then pasted together, but it’s not like the comedy genre usually asks much in terms of plot. There is one scene near the end that is completely out of place and goes on far too long, with Rudd talking to himself in a mirror. To be honest, I was embarrassed for the poor guy by the end of that scene.

The other thing that kind of works against Wanderlust is that there are no characters I connected with. We all get restless and want change in our lives, but Rudd and Aniston seem a bit too old to be pulling the kinds of things their characters do. I will say that, as a comedic actress, Aniston always surprises me with her timing. She is better than a lot of people give her credit for. While I would likely never watch Wanderlust again, it’s not the complete mess I was expecting. I laughed at a fair amount of the jokes and the film kept me entertained enough not to turn it off.

I give it 3 “money literally buys nothing” out of 5.

Links:

Rotten Tomatoes

IMDB

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34 responses to “Wanderlust (12/31/12)

  1. Careful Andy my dissing of Wanderlust got me the most negative mail I’ve ever had since blogging. I answered its my opinion I’m entitled to one. Strange thing is that totally improvised mirror scene was the only original dialogue in the filmfor me. Good review!

  2. That’s too bad. I share the same love as you do for Paul Rudd. I just love his comedic timing and “dead pan” expression.

    Well, thanks for taking a bullet for the team. What’s your movie goal for 2013?

    • I have a few that I haven’t really laid out. I wanted to do something for January, but since I’m really taking my time wrapping up 2012 and haven’t really watched anything, I may give myself a pass for the month. I may post about my 2013 plans this weekend!

  3. I like the idea of this one and based on your review I think I will give it a try. I like your critique of Aniston. She is a much better comedic actress than most people give her credit. I was imprssed with her in ‘Horrible Bosses’. I’m looking forward to your new blog banner and your monthly themes.

    • I kind of hate to think of how many takes that took them to do…It was almost like they just let him roll with it for 15 minutes thinking it would be a short little thing and then decided to throw all 15 minutes in.

  4. Nice review, but this movie really couldn’t have ended fast enough for me. I think my wife fast forwarded to the end just to see how it wrapped up. I checked out around that awful mirror scene.

  5. I think Anniston is getting better and better, I started liking her after I saw Management. She is really stating to grow as an actress and in a few years I’d really like to see her in something more serious.

  6. Pingback: My December Movies Round-Up | Andy Watches Movies

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