We have Paul Rudd teaming back up with David Wain (who also wrote and directed Role Models) for a comedy with what seems to be a never ending list of comedians about life on a commune. Oh, excuse me, intentional community. I was pretty excited to see this one. Now the questions is did it live up to the expectations set by Role Models?
The basic set up is that George (Paul Rudd) and Linda (Jennifer Aniston) have fallen on some tough times. They have decided to move across the country to stay with George’s brother for a while and on the way there stumble upon a Bed and Breakfast that just so happens to be in the middle of a commune. They are invited to become a part of the intentional community and decide to give it a try for two weeks.
This intentional community is filled with eccentric characters. You have the nudist, wine-maker author. You have the ex-porn star who has become a non-violent hippie. There is the drugged out old hippie (who started this place in 1971). And of course there is the leader, Seth (Justin Theroux) who is about as stereotypical as you can get when you think of a hippie (on purpose). All of these characters are funny and have their moments, I just never laughed very hard.
Then there is Linda. Jennifer Aniston is trying her hand out at comedy now that even she realizes she should no longer make those horrible chick flicks. (I am looking at you Bounty Hunter, The Break Up and The Switch.) I have not seen Horrible Bosses yet, but I have heard good things. In Wanderlust Linda is the straight man. All of these crazy things happen to her, and she even does one or two crazy things herself. A drug trip being one of the best. I just could not help but feel that she was playing Rachel from Friends if her daddy wasn’t rich.
Next comes George. Paul Rudd somehow also plays the straight man. I think that is where Wanderlust really went wrong. The two lead characters are basically the same character interacting with all of these others who just don’t get enough screen time for us to care about them. When the smaller characters are on screen, they are acting so crazy that it is hard to relate to them.
I will give Rudd that he had the two best scenes in the entire film though. One is when he is trying to psych himself out to sleep with Eva (Malin Ackerman). This commune believes that free love helps them tear down boundaries and be more open and honest with each other. George is attracted to Eva, for obvious reasons. But he is having a hard time justifying cheating on his wife. The words that come out of his mouth to pump himself up are funny enough. The way that Rudd delivers them are the icing on this hilarious cake.
In the end, I think I just need to echo my amazing friend Jonny‘s sentiments. It can be hard to review a movie that just made you feel ‘meh.’ I didn’t love Wanderlust. But I didn’t hate it either. If you want to laugh, you will with Wanderlust. You will just never really have a need to watch it again.
Have you seen Wanderlust? What did you think of it? Let us know in the comments below.