Saturday, February 25, 2012

So We Wandered Into a Theatre Today: Our Review of "Wanderlust" (2012)

Directed By: David Wain ("Role Models")

Starring: Paul Rudd, Jennifer Aniston, Justin Theroux, Alan Alda

Rated: R for sexual content, graphic nudity, language and drug use

Synopsis: George and Linda (Rudd and Aniston) love their life on NYC's Upper West Side until they lose everything in one day. While driving to Atlanta to move in with George's brother, they stumble across a commune called Elysium and decide to stay a while. Hijinks ensue.


Andrew: Hello readers! Now that I'm almost 100% over my flu bout, Sarah and I were able to get back to the theatres to check out a film and bring you a new review. With yesterday bringing some new releases, we decided to hit up the new Paul Rudd/Jennifer Aniston comedy "Wanderlust."

Sarah, what are your first thoughts on it?

Sarah: It was so funny! The second week in a row that we have had laugh-out-loud moments in the theatre! "Wanderlust" really was a fun movie. A classic Paul Rudd flick that really makes you enjoy the fact that most of the film is ad-libbed. Even Jennifer Aniston did a good job in this nudity-filled movie (mostly male nudity, and none of Jen), and I'm not a huge fan of hers to begin with.

What about you?

A: "Wanderlust" was definitely a funny movie. Rudd was hilarious in particular, and Aniston did a fair job considering she actually didn't have a whole lot to do in the film. I was particularly impressed with how funny Justin Theroux was as the de facto leader of the community, Seth. I'm not saying I'm surprised how funny he is, as he co-wrote "Tropic Thunder" with Ben Stiller, and I found him funny in "Your Highness," but am I'm saying I'd like to see him in more stuff like this.
That said, I did find "Wanderlust" to be an uneven film. There are parts that are literally laugh-out-loud funny and had my struggling to breath, and then there are times that just flat miss the mark or go on a little too long that it overstays it's welcome. Did you get that at all?

S: I did, and the 'conflict' part of the movie was lacking a little. But I will say that one shouldn't go into this movie thinking that it is going to be the next "Crazy, Stupid, Love" or that it was even as funny as some of Rudd's other movies, but it was entertaining. I wished that it had some more funny parts, as I recall there were only two times when we were literally laughing for like a whole minute. There were some other small giggles but now that you mention it, I do wish it were more evenly funny throughout.

A: I think that's a good way of putting it. It's relatively raunchy, so that's where a lot of the humor comes from and I think that's why it's hit or miss. It's not always done right, like the bits with George's brother - just not funny.

I'd like to point out that "Wanderlust" is a good ensemble pic, it's not just Rudd, Aniston and Theroux. Alan Alda as the patriarch of the community is particularly funny and I thought his casting was a nice touch. Joe Lo Truglio ("Superbad") as the nudist of the colony is pretty funny, Kathryn Hahn ("How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days") has funny bits, as does Kerri Kenney ("Reno 911"). Malin Akerman is pretty much eye-candy, but she does a good job in that role I suppose.
S: It really was a team effort and shouldn't be sold short of that I suppose. I was actually surprised that they showed as much male nudity as they did. It seems to be the hot new thing for some comedy movies, just throw in some penis shots! 

So, to wrap it up (Editor’s note: no pun intended…I think), what would you give this a rating of?

A: Yeah...I tried blocking that stuff out, particularly the one towards the end...

My grading might be a little bit different than yours - I give "Wanderlust" a Netflix It, unless you really enjoy Judd Apatow produced comedies and don't mind paying to see them in theatres.

UPDATE: We will continue to give our original ratings on movies in our actual write-up of them, but we are also introducing a new, traditional-style rating systems based out of 5 "clapboards." Hope you like it!
Our Score: 

Next Post: Our third and final installment of our Oscars analysis and predictions later tonight!

Photo Courtesies: Washington PostHollywood Reporter

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