Wanderbust

Wanderlust (2012)
Chick Flick Rating: ♥ ½ (1.5/5)
Film Rating: ★ ★ ½ (2.5/5)
Boyfriend friendly: He’ll probably like it more.

How does one write a funny review about a movie that wasn’t all that funny?

Ok, that’s a bit unfair because A) I saw Book Of Mormon last night, and that raised the comedy bar for me by a LOT and B) Wanderlust did have some really funny moments…which were all in the trailers, clips, and TV spots. You would think that a R-rated movie would have to leave the bulk of its comedy for the movie but, apart from some male frontal nudity and Paul Rudd offering to pump Malin Akerman with his gonads, I already had seen the best of it. And I just hate when that happens!

If you somehow didn’t see one of the thousand promos that aired over the past few weeks for Wanderlust, then here’s the gist: George (Rudd) and Linda (Aniston) are a married couple struggling to make it in Manhattan, particularly after buying an expensive West Village studio (excuse me, “micro-loft”). George is the sole bread-winner, working at a job he hates so Linda can bounce around careers until she figures out her “major”. Things take a turn for the worse when George loses his job and HBO rejects Linda’s documentary about penguins with testicular cancer. (Now that I think about it, that HBO scene was actually great… particularly if you’ve ever pitched something to a table of execs before.) Without mulling over any other options, the two sell their apartment and roadtrip down to Atlanta, so George can work for his awful-human-of-a-brother (Ken Marino). That doesn’t last long, and the two find themselves staying overnight at Elysium Bed & Breakfast: a commune (excuse me, “intentional community”) of pot-smoking, guitar-playing, free-loving hippies. They decide to give the lifestyle a try after a night of fun with the residents, who include the senile Elysium founder, Carvin (Alan Alda), the “charming” tree-dwelling team-leader, Seth (Justin Theroux), and a nudist winemaker/author, Wayne (Joe Lo Truglio).

This is the first movie I’ve given a lower Chick Flick Rating than film rating so I am going to focus my review on that since, after all, that is the purpose of this site. Although I loved the pairing of Rudd and Aniston – and they absolutely need to do more movies together – George and Linda just never worked as a couple for me. Obviously George loved Linda very much, since he supported her through all her crazy career changes and agreed to buy the expensive apartment that made her so happy, but I never understood exactly why he loved her (besides the fact that she had Jennifer Aniston’s body, of course). Linda never convinced me that she loved George more than she loved herself, and I was really frustrated with her because of it. Perhaps it’s because Paul Rudd meets my sexy criteria in both looks and personality, thus ringing in at #3 on my Celebrity Freebie List, so I couldn’t understand how even a fictional character could find his sarcasm annoying or feel adulterous feelings towards Seth – with his unshampooed hair and gross beard. I’m also a traditionalist, so when George and Linda agreed to explore Elysium’s open relationship policy… it rubbed me the wrong way and I stopped caring about their marriage altogether. However, if there was no open-love policy, then there would’ve been no scene where Paul Rudd practiced his dirty talk (two words: erection selection) in the bathroom mirror. And that was definitely a highlight, making the ticket price at least worthwhile.

Personally, Wanderlust didn’t do it for me but it had a lot of people in my theater cracking up, so maybe I missed something? It was by no means painful to sit through, and the all star cast continued to drive the exhausted hippy jokes home throughout. I just had higher expectations – especially since I freaking loved Role Models, and this was by the same writer/director. My advice: save your cash and (if you remember) see it when it’s on Netflix. I’ll probably add it to my queue and give it another try as well.

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6 thoughts on “Wanderbust

  1. Great review and pretty much dead-on, I think. I didn’t hate the movie, but most of the jokes fell flat and every character felt under-developed. If it weren’t for Paul Rudd, it probably would have been a total waste of time.

    I agree that Aniston and Rudd should try another project together. Preferably, one that’s worth their talent!
    ~Nikki

  2. Hey! Awwwwwesome review!!! I’m the other half of the ravingmadscientists, and I just wanted to tell you that I love your site as well!!!! It’s adorable and THANK YOU for writing cohesive, intelligent, funny reviews. 🙂 🙂 Jealous of your film school experience and life in New York… since we live in the baby-making midwest. I want to know what you thought of Something Borrowed?? We despised it with every cell in our bodies. 🙂 🙂 🙂 Thanks for checking out our site as well!!!

    ~Annie

  3. Thanks so much you two! I’m so happy we found each others sites! And I like your taste because I despised Something Borrowed as well – which is such a shame because Jim Krasinski was in it, and generally anything that man touches is gold in my eyes. I really didn’t think anyone was all that likable in that movie… Kate Hudson’s character was just evil, the main guy Dex was a total wuss and didn’t know how to man up, Ginnifer Goodwin’s character was annoying and I felt bad for poor Jim Krasinski. I was also bitter because they filmed a scene from that movie outside of my apartment, which caused mayhem for everyone in our building for the days they shot it and I didn’t even get to see anyone good!

  4. Pingback: Celebrity Freebie List | Chick Flick Critic

  5. This movie didn’t look good to begin with even though I absolutely adore Paul Rudd. Thanks for the heads up though. I won’t be spending money on this!

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