Wanderlust – 98min – R
This is a 98 min long comedy sketch that really only has about 5 min of good material. This is a fish out of water story that is poorly told and I don’t feel sorry for those fish gasping for air and flopping around on the floor. The cast hold tight to the roles they have been given and they play them to the hilt but it’s just not entertaining enough to hold for this length of time. There are some truly reprehensible characters in this film, and it’s painful to watch them. I started out aiming for a yellow light on this film but as I sit here and think about it, it’s really a red.
George (Paul Rudd) and Linda (Jennifer Aniston) live in Manhattan. They both lose their jobs and are forced to move across country to live with George’s douche bag brother, Rick (Ken Marino). I rarely use language like to describe people but this character personifies that term. They fall in with some people living in a 60s style commune. This group is “not” lead by the “not” leader Seth (Justin Theroux) who welcomes them into the group. They have an awkward time adjusting to the open lifestyle and learn a lot about each other and about themselves along the way.
The problem with this movie is that it really does not have any characters that you feel for. They go for all of the obvious jokes about the “Hippy” lifestyle. The hippies are outrageous characterizations and just the slightest bit offensive at times. They tried to encompass all various lifestyles: nudist, earth mothers, sex, drugs and rock ‘n roll. George and Linda are really not enjoyable even with the transformation to the new life style. They come off as awkward and forced and I felt absolutely nothing for their journey.
This movie was directed by David Wain who has a long list of episodic television shows under his belt. This may be why this movie feels like a very long sitcom, his other films were low brow films as well and they seemed to be better paced than this one. As he was the co writer as well he takes the brunt of this movie’s failures. Ken Marino was the other writer, and I am shocked that he did not write a better role for himself.
Spoiler warning!! If you are worried about being brought down by the Man. Don’t click here!!!
The only really chuckle worthy part was when George was in the bathroom in front of the mirror talking himself up to have sex with someone other than his wife. The level of vulgarity starts off small and then just escalates to the ridiculous. I giggled at the start and was laughing as it went on. And then was mortified as he continued it when he was actually in front of the person he was intending to cheat with.
Keegan Michael Key and Jordan Peele were great in this film. Keegan was a yes man for a short bit and Jordan played a member of the community. I love their work on Key & Peele they need to be more in the spotlight and less on the sidelines. Was it my imagination was Jordan’s character the only person of color in the community?
This movie again fails at a sufficient ending. It seemed like they ran out of money and decided to do a bunch of cut scenes to reincorporate some other jokes in the film. BUT I was glad it was over so I should not complain.
What was a scene you liked in a bad movie? In this one I really only liked one scene, it was childish and immature, but I am ok with how it made me laugh in a movie that was really devoid of them.