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Paul Rudd and Jennifer Aniston star in this laugh-out-loud comedy about leaving it all behind. After George (Rudd) loses his high-stress Manhattan job, he and his wife, Linda (Aniston), hit the road and wind up crashing at Elysium, a free-spirited community of hippies, tree-huggers and the occasional nudist. Featuring an all-star ensemble cast including Justin Theroux, Malin Akerman and Alan Alda, Wanderlust has “more laughs than I’ve had at the movies in a very long time.” (Carrie Rickey, Philadelphia Inquirer)
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Why? Because Linda has taken a shine to Elysium's alpha male Seth (Justin Theroux) and the prospect of free love with him. George is put off despite the promise of sex himself with the very attractive Eva (Malin Akerman). In a cringe inducing moment, George actually has to psyche himself up for it by talking dirty to himself in the mirror and then torpedoes the whole thing when he can't stop talking dirty to Eva turning her off. Of course why would any one need extra encouragement when it's Malin Akerman? Oh well.
Then there's some artificial drama concerning a big corporation wanting to take over the land Elysium is on. That leads to your typical plot twist about who's helping them (hint: one of Elysium's members) but it's all handled like an afterthought.
The problem with this flick is for one; the filmmakers chose an all too easy target (hippies) and instead of coming up with creative jokes they try to get laughs by showing how disgusting it's all supposed to be. For instance, when a couple who had recently given birth to their first child decide not to cut the imbilical cord and let it fall away naturally, they show up to the dinner table with the child and the cord still attached. Other jokes involve vegans and drinking concoctions made with roots and berries. There is one clever joke where Linda and Elysium's co-founder Carvin (Alan Alda) sneak off to a diner to eat "real" food including a plate full of sausages, steak and other meats.
And course there are jokes involving nudity which leads to some full frontal discomfort mainly because the streakers are elderly or out of shape.
Anyone who saw the red band trailer on YouTube (including me) will realize there are scenes missing from the final film. And the Mr. Skin crowd hoping to see Aniston topless will be dissappointed. So you may get the sense that the movie is a lot tamer than it could've been.
Too bad too because Rudd and Aniston have real chemistry as a couple and are trapped in a script with trite jokes and no imagination at all.
The film is rated "R", meaning anyone under 17 needs to be accompanied by an adult to see it in theaters or to purchase it in the store. If you don't want to watch a hilarious movie with shocking obscenity and nudity, go watch something else.
I personally think "Wanderlust" is the perfect film for anyone who's questioned their life's path and I think the movie has some wonderfully understated moral themes about individuality versus group identity.
Jennifer Aniston, Justin Theroux and Paul Rudd are all at their best while they're working together. It's also fun to see three giant movie stars doing a film that was not a sure-fire blockbuster guarantee.
I say, if you're not a prude, see this film; If you are, go see another crappy remake of a fairy-tale or a movie about harmless vampires falling in love.
Near the end of the movie, a bunch of old men are also shown in full-frontal.
However, there is little female nudity in the movie.
There is a scene in which the Jennifer Aniston character and a bunch of other women take off their tops at a protest to get the attention of TV news cameras. The audience only sees a blurred-view. More female nudity would have made the movie more entertaining. Especially that scene.
Some of the humor is contrived. The writers seem to think going on-and-on with a joke makes it funnier, but it doesn't. When the Paul Rudd character has a chance to sleep with a good-looking woman with the permission of his wife (wife played by Jennifer Aniston) he is so nervous that he keeps saying strange things until the woman changes her mind. It's unclear why the Paul Rudd character, who is level-headed most of the time, and has experience sleeping with a good-looking woman (his wife), would get so nervous that he says strange things.
There is another joke which goes on-and-on in which male TV new-reporters harrass a female reporter while on-the-air. This also gets less funny and less believable as it proceeds.
The hippie characters are repeatedly referred to as vegan, but the Jennifer Aniston character is taught by them to milk a goat at the start of the movie. Vegans don't drink milk. This discrepancy isn't explained. Nor are we told much about the food eaten at the commune. A message of the movie is eat meat instead of unspecified vegan food.
Near the end of the movie, one of the hippies physically assaults the Paul Rudd character, and the other hippies just stand by. A hippie woman says that they believe in non-violence and so can't interfere. As if they couldn't grab the assailant. If you want to see hippies ridiculed in this way (and other ways), then rent the movie.