I’ll go any place that has Jen Aniston getting naked. Any place…
The story centers on New York City couple George and Linda (Paul Rudd and Jennifer Aniston) who are forced to relocate to Atlanta when George is downsized out of his job. Once there, the two stumble upon Elysium, a peculiar community populated by colorful characters who embrace a much simpler way of life.
After checking out director David Wain‘s last flick, ‘Role Models’, and actually liking it quite a bit, I went into this one expecting the same type of laughs. Oh who am I kidding, I went into this ready to see some naked ladies. However, what I got was naked dudes and a so-so comedy. Not a very good combo.
As a comedy, this film works pretty well. All of the jokes here are very raunchy and dirty but also had me laughing quite a bit at times. Wain takes a whole bunch of risks and basically does anything in his will-power to make a joke connect, and it’s worth it because even though he doesn’t always hit the right spot, the moments where he does gets your mind off of the bad times. Besides, it’s always funny to see hippies being hippies in their own natural habitat but it’s also a lot funnier to see two, normal American people be brought into this new and cool life-style. It’s not really trying to be anything else and it’s also pretty surprising to see hippies get the kind of treatment in today’s world as they did way back when. Yes, hippies are still around people.
My problem with this flick is that the plot’s one-joke premise does get stretched on a little too long in my opinion. There is a lot of funny stuff here that works but then there were other times where Wain just seemed to throw any raunchy joke he had at us whether it was about poop, dicks, boobs, or anything else that came to his dirty little mind. This is definitely a lot more raunchier than Wain’s last flick and even though it may work when it comes to creating some good laughs, other times it just gives us that feeling that the jokes are starting to get stale and over-done.
The other problem with this plot is that it does get very uneven by the end, especially when it starts trying to show some of these hippies to be some evil mofos. Every comedy by about the last act starts to get mundane and use plot elements that we have seen done before and this one here, is really no different. We get all of the same predictable results we expect to get due to this premise being so damn simple and even though it may get pretty dry by the end, it still lifts itself back up somehow with a pretty funny epilogue. Basically, if you’re a comedy and you start to go soft, I’m always going to find my way to complain about it. I always do with the exception of probably ‘The Change-Up’ which was definitely a lot more raunchier than this flick by far.
What really worked here was the cast, that shows Wain bringing together all of his buddies as well as some other comedy favorites that you have probably seen before. Paul Rudd and Jennifer Aniston are great as George and Linda, because they not only feel like a real couple, but a pretty fun one at that even before they started their lives at this community. Aniston has really started to show herself winning back audiences with her raunchy comedy appearances and this one is no different. Aniston is funny, goofy, and shows that she has the comedic timing chops that aren’t just all about being that playful and witty girl we always see her do, she can also be pretty dirty. Still though, no boobage from her so once again, we have to all wait it out men. Rudd is also what really makes this film work because he is just so damn funny with every scene and ad-libs his ass off to great effect. Rudd has always been funny in every movie he performs in and he gives one great scene where he’s basically prepping himself for some sexy time and it’s much like that “Slapppa da basss” scene in ‘I Love You Man’, but it still had me laughing my ass of by the end and was by-far the most memorable scene of the whole flick. These two really do bring out the best in each other when it comes to acting together, and their chemistry just makes their relationship and everything else that they go through, feel real even though it may get a little cheesy by the end.
The rest of the supporting cast has a bunch of other great performances but only a couple that are worth noting. Justin Theroux is pretty wild, insane, and goofy as the community’s main-leader, Seth, and shows that he’s funny in a more visually and physical way as well; Alan Alda is playing another great role for him as the senile and old founder, Carvin; and Malin Akerman, Kathryn Hahn and Lauren Ambrose all have great little scenes considering they are all very hot as well as good when it comes to showing their comedic timing. Still, they don’t get naked. WTF!??! Plus, there are some many others in this cast that do great jobs but these were the ones that I found more worth of being noted.
Consensus: Wanderlust’s one-joke premise may stretch on for a little too long by the end, but the raunchy writing and hilarious cast give this film some very funny moments, which are definitely enough to make up for it’s more uneven ones.