Paul Rudd and Jennifer Aniston star in Wanderlust as George and Linda, a New York couple who, down on their luck, ditch the city for a rural commune. George loses his job the same day that Linda finds out that HBO won't bankroll her documentary on penguins with testicular cancer. Out of options and money, George and Linda head for Atlanta to stay with George's brother, but they stop for the night along the way at a commune called Elysium and experience a magical evening full of marijuana, didgeridoos, and skinny dipping. Atlanta's not all it's cracked up to be, so George and Linda head back to Elysium to give the free love lifestyle a shot. I won't tell you what happens next, because it is precisely at this point that the movie begins to sort of suck.
The first 30 minutes or so of Wanderlust were super funny. There were consistent laughs as we watch George and Linda throw parties in their tiny apartment, and sing and squabble in the car while they're driving to Atlanta. Their first night at Elysium was completely hilarious, as was their time in Atlanta with George's dickhead of a brother and his alcoholic wife. But when they move back to Elysium, the laughs stop. Pretty quickly. Characters become caricatures, and the same old gags are used repeatedly. Some of the jokes are weird, and some just don't make sense. One "joke," involving George talking dirty to himself in a mirror, actually left me feeling physically uncomfortable. There's an unnecessary subplot involving the deed to the land that Elysium is on. There were still a few laughs in there, but 9 out of 10 of the jokes just fell flat. And while Wanderlust was not overly long, it felt like it dragged.
All in all, I give Wanderlust a 5 out of 10. This score is composed of a 4 out of 10, because roughly 40% of the movie is funny, plus 1 point added on for a funny spoof of the "grape stomp" video from a few years ago. If you don't know what I'm talking about, here it is:
I swear, that video never gets old. And if you're so inclined, the remix is pretty awesome as well: