Lazy Movie Review: Wanderlust

Premise:  Paul Rudd and Jennifer Aniston are New York City folk who lose their jobs.  While traveling to Georgia to live with Rudd’s brother, they spend the night at a hippie commune (or as the hippie’s call it, an ‘intentional community’).  Turns out they like the lifestyle, and hate Rudd’s brother even more, so they move into the community.  I meant to write a full review of this with actual paragraphs but here I am again, struggling to come up with words to elaborate on a Paul Rudd comedy.  So once again I am writing another lazy, bullet pointed review.  Something about his movies make it hard for me to describe them.  Is it too easy to just say that Wanderlust was funny?  OK, fine, here’s the bullet points.

Pros:

-Paul Rudd is as likable as usual.  We actually had to fill out a marketing survey at the theater when we saw the movie, and one of the questions was “Check all that apply as to why you wanted to see this movie”, and it was followed by a bunch of reasons.  I doubt there was a single person in there who didn’t check the Paul Rudd check box.  And if they did, they were probably elderly and wandered into the wrong theater.  (“This isn’t War Horse…!”)

-Jennifer Aniston probably gave my third favorite performance of her in this film, behind Office Space and Horrible Bosses.  I don’t normally like her in things, but when she’s good it’s always a pleasant surprise.

-Ken Marino (Ron Donald from Party Down) is hilarious as the dickbag brother.  Though, I appreciate and desire a dickbag character in an R-rated comedy.  Marino probably committed more than a few “Ron Donald Don’ts” however.  Actually, the entire cast, a lot of which were from the sketch comedy team The State, were pretty hilarious.


-There is an entire scene in a major motion picture that was mass released in theaters that revolves around Paul Rudd trying to play a Spin Doctors song on an acoustic guitar.  Think about that.  No, I didn’t accidentally put this in the Pros section, it’s an absolute Pro.

-Paul Rudd’s mirror scene where he’s rehearsing some dirty talk was almost tear inducing levels of funny.

-Paul Rudd as an outsider dealing with hippies > Paul Rudd as a hippie dealing with outsiders (Our Idiot Brother).

Cons:

-There was a point somewhere in the second half, maybe around 65% through, where I started to lose interest for a couple of minutes.  I don’t remember what was going on, but I wasn’t digging it.

-Sometimes it felt like it wanted to be a mainstream comedy, and other times it dipped into absurdist Wet Hot American Summer territory.  If it’s not obvious, I enjoyed it more when it went absurd.

-It had a sloppy message?  Did it even really have a message?  It felt like there was supposed to be some sort of message.

Final Thoughts:  Wanderlust is a movie you could recommend to almost anyone who enjoys R-rated comedies.  Director David Wain made sure that it was a movie that weirdo fans of The State would enjoy, and also something those fan’s normal wives could like too.  There is a hefty amount of male nudity in this, which I find funny, but most others could find off-putting.  Overall, Wanderlust is a likable movie, and I’d recommend it to most people I know as a humorous escapist film.  I think that most people would find it humorous.  It’s a really funny, yet still kind of throwaway comedy.  I guess I’ll keep repeating myself, you’ll laugh a lot during Wanderlust, but you won’t leave the theater thinking it’s some kind of masterpiece.  It’s fun!  In retrospect, that should have just been my whole review:  “It’s fun!”   But I already typed out all that other stuff.

7.5 out of 10

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