johnlink ranks WANDERLUST (2012)
We interrupt this unmotivated barrage of action movies for a lightly regarded comedy from last year: WANDERLUST. While comedy has not been my go-to genre the past decade or so, I have always found Paul Rudd to be harmless and enjoyable. Jennifer Aniston is capable enough of filling a female lead. Put that together and WANDERLUST is a movie I’m willing to check out when it sails across HBO.
I watched WANDERLUST (2012) on 3.3.13. It was my first viewing of the film.
George (Rudd) and Linda (Aniston) are down on their luck when they stumble across the hippie commune known as Elysium (not to be confused with the impending blockbuster action film starring Matt Damon). They dig the drug-taking, love-sharing, free-living lifestyle and they agree to stick around for awhile to see if it suits them long term.
Now, in the interest of full disclosure, I think my wife and I enjoyed this more than some others might because she is probably two or three steps away from joining one of these communities. I’m not saying she would seek one out, but if our car broke down outside of one and they asked us to live their indefinitely she would certainly want to entertain the idea.
That said, the first hour of this movie is much better than the last half hour. In the interest of conflict, the movie devolves into a fairly standard husband versus ideal mate scenario, only the ideal mate turns out to be an asshole. At least Aniston isn’t forced to spend a bunch of time trying to convince us she doesn’t think so, but the movie really doesn’t build much.
But that’s okay, because a bunch of the gags here are pretty funny. There are some nice bits with the birth of a baby, some scream therapy, and a running gag about a book in the editing process. Less successful are a cliche hallucination scene, anything involving George’s family, and the final conflict is uninspired.
I got a fair amount of enjoyment out of this. I know this was ripped apart by most critics, but it is harmless fun. I’d never launch it into the category of classic, but it is a lot more enjoyable than I thought it would be. Certainly worth a rental.
FILM: 5; MOVIE: 8; ACTING: 6; WRITING: 4
FINAL SCORE: 5.75