Sunday, September 30, 2012

Smells like Willie Nelson's braids...

Can a minute save an entire film? Literally, I mean. One. Actual. Minute. As a kid, this was completely possible. One great fight sequence could save a D-grade action movie. A bad thriller or dramatic flick could be salvaged by the arrival (and subsequent pausing) of unexpected, high-quality nudity. An awful horror movie could redeem itself with a legendary death, even if it was just one. But what about a comedy? Can something not terribly funny be redeemed by a moment that made me f--king choke on my tears? 

For me, the answer is a resounding yes. When I look back on last week's Redboxing of Wanderlust, I can't help but smile. It helps that I find Paul Rudd utterly hysterical no matter what he's in. Another assist comes from countless members of The State, arguably one of the funniest shows of my formative years. But, a week later, only one thing has truly stayed with me: the mirror scene.

I'm going to apologize ahead of time for hyping it up, because at least half of my enjoyment resulted in the sheer unexpectedness of this classic scene. Sure, some of you (shit, most of you) won't find this nearly as funny as I did, but I literally cried during it. I've watched it on Youtube a few times since, and at this point, it still cracks me up.

Minus this scene, the entire film is slightly charming, but probably a Volkswagen van full of missed opportunity. I like Rudd enough to forgive just about anything, and Aniston is always nice to look at, but they have very little onscreen chemistry. Now, in a way, that's entirely the point, but it also made a lot of the movie feel forced.

If you missed the trailers, and the poster doesn't clue you in, Wanderlust tells the story of two New Yorkers, who lose everything, and relocate to a hippie commune (cue the hilarity). There, they meet Naked Guy, Hot Hippie Chick, Free Love Couple and any other hippie stereotypes you can come up with. All the minor characters have their moments, and Justin Theroux's Seth delivers some pretty funny bits, but this is essentially the Rudd show. Love Rudd, you'll like this movie. Any other feelings about him? Best to just keep it moving.

Like a burnout dancing during an extended Phish jam, let's enjoy this savory breakdown with those earth-loving bastards, the Yays and Boos.

This was a pretty sweet axe battle.
  • The term wink-point shit-canned.
  • A naked man is usually pretty funny. When he's prone to crouching? Hilarious. See also: Hall Pass.
  • The crew of the newscast they watch is comprised of some pretty funny bastards. 
  • I love Ken Marino. He plays the biggest prick ever, with a douchey house, if that's possible. In fact, I wanna dip my balls in it.
  • After this, Paul Rudd only needs to shag Monica Geller to complete the rare Friends hat-trick. See also: A-hole from Counting Crows (who's also two-thirds of the way to completion).
  • And finally, the epic mirror scene. I'd give you the Youtube link, but then there is basically no reason to see this film at all. And guys, tell me I'm not the only one who has gotten carried away in front of a mirror. Anyone? [crickets] Shit.
That guy at the party who traps you = Naked Guy...
  • Is Rachel a movie-killer?
  • I'll say it again: zero chemistry.
  • Aniston saves the day with her boobs? C'mon, now. They're nice, but day-saving? I think I'm going to need to see for myself.
  • Sherm? That wasn't cool, man.
  • I'm not sure how to feel about Malin Akerman. I thought she was smokin' in Watchmen. Here? Not so much.
  • And finally, the biggest boo of them all, a friend told me there were outtakes of the mirror scene. I can't believe I missed them. Shameful.
I might have rambled a bit, but this took me the better part of two days to complete. And, and, I haven't seen a movie since this one (we're going on a week-long dry, that is), so my head's not quite right. Hopefully, as you were reading this, there was a line or two that made your time investment worth it. Because one great moment makes it all worthwhile, right?


  1. Well, at least you didn't hate this one :) I thought the mirror scene was very funny, but it was Alan Alda who kept cracking me up :) Akerman looked like a crack whore here, she looks much better with dark hair.

    1. If I remember right, you hated it, right? Hmm...might have to re-read that one. Alan Alda was pretty funny, I liked the bit where he kept repeating the same old story...reminds me of my own grandfather.

      A crack whore? After catching a few Intervention episodes with my wife the other day, that's even more unappealing than it sounds. But I'm in full agreement about the hair...darker = better (at least in her case).

  2. Good review M, as usual. Wanderlust was pretty uneven but there were actually many moments where I couldn't stop but laugh at mainly because of this great cast.

    1. Thanks, Dan. I think with the right expectations most people would at least smile and enjoy Rudd's antics.

      The box office was pretty disastrous...

      And that damn mirror scene!

  3. Good Review!

    Didn't like this one, Rudd and Marino were good and it had a nice nod to Role Models with the singing scene, but thought this dragged for most of the running time.

    1. Thanks, Ty. I think it was definitely a missed opportunity, but I laughed so much for that one minute that I couldn't hate it completely.