19. Wanderlust (R)
Runtime: 98 minutes
Starring: Jennifer Aniston, Paul Rudd
Director: David Wain
Here's a movie I've been waiting for since 2010! It was on my most anticipated list for 2011, but the movie got pushed back 4 months into this year. That doesn't bode well for movies and while I can say I truly enjoyed this movie, it doesn't stand out more than any other R-rated comedies I've seen in the past year or two. Maybe it was because of my high expectations - this movie is directed by David Wain, the main force behind Wet Hot American Summer, my favorite comedy of all-time. So I may have been building up this movie in my mind for too long and even though it's good, it's not great.
The gist of the movie is that Paul Rudd loses his super chic NYC job and Jennifer Aniston can't seem to find a career worth holding onto (her latest career - documentary filmmaker - is an utter failure) so they decide to movie to Atlanta and live with his brother. But when that doesn't turn out so great, they decide to try out this hippie commune. Hijinks and hilarity ensue, etc. It's honestly not that great of a plot, but the characters and gags are what really shine in this movie.
I think Rudd and Aniston are good together and they have their moments (especially Rudd - there's a hysterical scene of him psyching himself up in the mirror that had me in tears, literally), and the rest of the cast - Malin Akerman, Justin Theroux, Ken Marino, Joe Lo Truglio and Alan Alda - are so funny. There's some great running jokes - the one about the nudist wine maker and novelist pays off in the end quite tremendously - and they don't come across as caricatures of far out hippies (well, maybe some) but it's a genuine effort and you do get attached to some of the people.
The only really annoying part of the movie was the forced conflict that seems to be shoehorned in so you're forced to care what happens to the commune. Evidently a huge corporation is trying to take the land from the hippies, but they rightfully own it but can't prove it. It's a distraction from the really important stuff like the jokes, so I felt a bit annoyed. They could have removed this entire plot line and I still would have enjoyed the movie and cared for the characters just as much. But it's a minor quibble when there is such and abundance of fun to be had with this movie.
There were times when I didn't laugh at some of the jokes and other times where I was truly hurting from all the laughing. So it's a mixed bag with this one, but I would at least give it a shot - it's most definitely worth renting, if only for that one scene with Paul Rudd in the mirror. Trust me, it's hilarious.
Rating: Rent It!