Movie Review: Wanderlust (***)

Movie Review: Wanderlust (***)


Genre: Comedy

Premise: After losing his job, George (Paul Rudd) and his wife Linda (Jennifer Aniston) ditch their yuppie Manhattan lifestyle and decide to try out living on a rural commune that celebrates peace and free love, man.

Behind-the-Scenes: This is co-writer and director David Wain's fourth film, and his fourth to star Paul Rudd.

The Good: Paul Rudd.  He is like God's gift to comedy.  There is a 5-minute sequence where he talks to a mirror, trying to pump himself up to have sex, that had me laughing more than any other movie in recent memory.  It's a killer scene - definitely the movie's best.  Wain and co-writer Ken Marino are smart about their comedy (these are the guys that did Wet Hot American Summer, after all), and even though the script lacks focus and a compelling plot, there are enough throwaway gags and silly character moments to make it worth your while.

The Bad:  Jennifer Aniston.  Her character is mostly unlikeable (Linda has no career direction, she quickly sleeps with another guy without much remorse), and Aniston's on-screen charisma has weakened in recent years.  For every joke that lands, there are about 3 or 4 that fall flat.  The hippie characters are annoying and are treated with more affection than ridicule.  Are we really supposed to believe that communal living is a good thing, and a legitimate solution to one's uptown problems?  The movie seems to support that theory.

Should You See It?:  For Paul Rudd's mirror scene alone, yes.

Rating: *** out of 5 stars.

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