R, 98 min.
Director: David Wain
Writers: David Wain, Ken Marino
Starring: Jennifer Aniston, Paul Rudd, Justin Theroux, Malin Akerman, Alan Alda, Ken Marino, Joe Lo Truglio, Kathryn Hahn, Kerri Kenney-Silver, Lauren Ambrose, Michaela Watkins, Jordan Peele, Linda Lavin
I often hear about the poor choices Jennifer Aniston makes for movie roles. It’s true. She’s a gifted actress who can’t choose a worthwhile project to star in to save her soul. I think this might be a reflection of sexism in Hollywood, however. Not because she doesn’t get the chance to play good roles. She’s powerful enough to command her own career choices. But, how come no one is criticizing the equally talented Paul Rudd for the poor choices he makes in picking projects a good deal of the time?
Don’t get me wrong. I love Paul Rudd, and you’ve got a better shot of hitting a good one with his filmography than you do with Aniston’s. However, he’s been in some clunkers, and this one is his lost puppy. In fact, Rudd and Aniston have hit a low like this together before in Nicholas Hytner’s ill conceived “The Object of My Affection”, a rom com that decided it would be a good idea to have the pregnant Aniston fall in love with the gay Rudd. I really don’t know where they thought they were going to get with that one. With “Wanderlust” the prospects are better, but the end result still isn’t any good.
Rudd is actually the best thing about this movie. He’s just about the only element the filmmakers get right. He’s perfect as a New Yorker down on his luck who decides he and his wife should try out commune life once he looses his job. Aniston is not right for his wife. I buy her as the New Yorker, but not as the hippie she becomes. This role needed someone a little more like Kristen Wiig, who can pull off both the uptight New Yorker and the newly reformed bohemian.