Today's Box Office: How 'Wanderlust' made me angry | News
Wanderlust stars Jennifer Aniston and Paul Rudd as Linda and George, a Manhattan couple whose must leave the city after Linda's documentary about Penguins with testicular cancer isn't picked up by HBO and George loses his job when the FBI shows up and seizes everything. George is offered a job by his jerk brother selling Port A Potties in Atlanta. So, they load up the car and start driving. Along the way they stumble upon Elysium, that presents itself as a bed and breakfast but in reality is a commune for people who are vegans, use drugs, play terrible music, and practice free love. They spend the night and have a terrific time of it, calling it "the best night of their lives" and leave the next morning. After spending about 2 days in Atlanta, they decide that life would be better where they've been happiest and decide to move back to to Elysium and give the commune lifestyle a two-week trial run. Things begin to get weird as they each partake in the lifestyle to varying degrees. Linda dives in a little further than George and causes friction between the two of them. Naturally, the leader of the commune adds to the friction by playing them against one another and turning George into the bad guy. They're change of perspective on life eventually causes more problems than it's worth.
Hate is a strong word. I try not to use it. I think I've only used it to describe food and maybe a bully from elementary school. I'm very close to using it to describe this "film". Where to begin? Let's start with the players shall we? Paul Rudd plays Paul Rudd. He's sarcastic and you can tell he's improving 90% of his lines to varying degrees of success. Jennifer Aniston made me angry. Her character is someone that I don't think I would like if I knew them in real life. Justin Theroux, who played Elysium's leader Seth, was a guy that you want to punch in the face after being around him for a couple of hours. The two highlights of the film are Alan Alda who played the aging founder of the commune and Joe Lo Truglio who played the resident nudist/winemaker/novelist.
The story was like an SNL skit that ran way too long. The majority of the jokes elicited minor chuckles while further laughs were derived from the utter ridiculousness of the situation. You're not supposed to feel anger in a comedy film but that's what I felt towards many of the over-the-top characters. The fish out of water premise can be a funny one but it has to be relatable to the fish being out of water. I blame the writing. It was lazy writing. You can't have a large cast and say "Here's the story but you're going to just make up most of your lines and whatever happens, we'll worry about that later" and make it good. The Hangover was written that way but even though many of the lines were made up, it still had intentional jokes put in by the writers. Wanderlust didn't feel that way at all. It completely missed the mark. Some advice for R-rated comedy writers, having naked elderly people in the film just to do it is not funny. Nudity is sometimes funny when it's unexpected but you can't make it the focal point of your joke.
Obviously, I cannot recommend that anyone go see this movie. I give it 5 stars out of 11.
Also this week, Tyler Perry stars in Good Deeds as businessman Wesley Deeds who is jolted out of his scripted life when meets a single mother who works on the cleaning crew in his office building. Amanda Seyfried stars in Gone as Jill, who was once kidnapped by a serial killer and believes he has returned when her sister disappears. So she sets out to face her abductor. Act of Valor makes an unprecedented promise to take you closer to the Navy SEALs than anyone has ever been, starring real Navy SEALs, the film is about an elite team that embarks on a covert mission to recover a kidnapped CIA agent.
Next week, Dr. Seuss' The Lorax, about a 12-year old boy who searches for a tree, a real tree that help win over the girl of his dreams but to find it, he must discover the story of the Lorax, the grumpy creature who fights to protect his world. An R-rated comedy, Project X, in which 3 high school seniors who throw a birthday party to make a name for themselves. As the party progresses, things spiral out f control as word of the party spreads.