Friday, February 24, 2012

WANDERLUST: The Film Babble Blog Review

WANDERLUST (Dir. David Wain, 2012)

There are a number of funny moments in David Wain’s WANDERLUST, the newest production off the Judd Apatow assembly line, but they don’t add up to a funny movie.

It’s a real shame because it has a couple of likable leads who have good chemistry together (Paul Rudd and Jennifer Anniston who have worked together on Friends and the 1998 movie THE OBJECT OF MY AFFECTION) heading a solid comic cast in a premise with possibilities.

The premise: married yuppies Rudd and Aniston decide to ditch the rat race and live in a commune (sorry - “intentional community” as hippie commune leader Justin Theroux calls it) after their careers bottom out.

But how much free love, drugs, and door-less bathroom humor can a person take?

Well, with the gross-out nature of this weak material, I quickly found my limit.

The reason as to why Rudd and Aniston were charmed by this lifestyle and not creeped out by it escapes me.

They are welcomed into the makeshift village by nudist/aspiring novelist Joe Lo Truglio, the unctuous bearded Theroux who hits on Aniston immediately, a blonde nymph (Malin Åkerman) who will obviously be Rudd’s object of lust, and a befuddled Alan Alda as the commune’s original founder.

With its mini-reunion of members of the ‘90s sketch comedy troop The State (along with Lo Truglio, the film’s co-writer Ken Marino, and Kerri Kenney Silver, there are cameos appearances by Michael Ian Black, Michael Showalter, and Wain as local news anchors) WANDERLUST plays like a misguided mash-up of WET HOT AMERICAN SUMMER and LOST IN AMERICA, but it has neither of those film’s comedic visions.

The succession of one cheap weak gag after another really wore me down. With this many talented funny folks and this many attempts at provoking belly-laughs, there can’t help but be some chuckles, yet I can’t remember a single witty line or instance of hilarity (a bit with Rudd giving himself a sexual pep-talk in a bathroom mirror comes close though).

However, I can remember a slow motion shot of flabby full frontal nudity rushing the camera - so I can’t say this is a completely forgettable film. As much as I’d like to.

More later...

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