"When I got my first television set, I stopped caring so much about having close relationships." - Andy Warhol

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Wanderlust: A blundering journey

I wanted to like you, George & Linda. Really.
When I saw Wanderlust in Redbox, I barely read the description before adding it to my cart.

I like both Jennifer Aniston and Paul Rudd, and as charming, well-paid actors, I trusted them to have discernible taste in choosing movie scripts.

When we started the movie, we were hopeful – the characters seemed real and the plot seemed plausible.

George Gergenblatt (Rudd) works in a nondescript office job, and Linda Gergenblatt (Aniston) embarks on various projects in an effort to find her niche. Fair enough.

A quick slide downhill

When the couple moves into a “micro-loft” in New York City, complete with a bed that pops out of the wall, you feel their elation at being property owners in the “world’s greatest city.”

Sadly for Linda and George, the elation is short-lived. And sadly for viewers, the movie’s plausibility is equally short-lived.

When George loses his job and Linda’s documentary on penguins with testicular cancer is poorly received, the couple is forced to sell their loft and head to Georgia, where Paul’s brother promises him work.

The story unravels pretty quickly from there.

Why my attention for Wanderlust began to wander:

  • How does a first-time documentary film maker get a meeting with HBO? I’m almost certain you need a reputation to get in the doors of such a sleek and sexy network. (This isn't that big of a deal as far as the plot is concerned, it just annoyed me.)
  • Eccentric characters that scorn killing flies and eat a vegan diet? That’s fine. I’ll even buy into the fact that they don’t have doors in their homes. But when the characters cross the line between free spirited and disgusting (e.g., the natural birth of Almond’s baby and the parents’ refusal to dispose of the afterbirth), the laughs stop coming and you’re left feeling downright uncomfortable. 
  • The intimate scenes between Linda and George in the beginning of the movie were sweet. But the scene that features George talking dirty to his reflection in the mirror before coming onto Eva? Bearable for the first ten seconds (although I’ll be hard-pressed to ever find him attractive again), making the subsequent 50 seconds incredibly awkward and embarrassing to watch.
Do I recommend this movie? Certainly not. But I’ve made my peace with the fact that I wasted 98 minutes (that felt much longer) watching this movie.

What I’m struggling to reconcile is my disappointment in Jen and Paul. I trusted them, and I feel a bit betrayed.

Even this picture is awesomely bad. Bad ass!

The difference between bad and awesomely bad

Samuel L. Jackson will live in infamy for starring in the awesomely bad 2006 action thriller, Snakes on a Plane.

Jen and Paul should be so lucky.

1 comment:

  1. Oh the movies, they make it so glamorous-the one bedroom loft apartment in NYC. You and I have always fallen for that; glad to you're growing up! Couldn't have been the worst 98 minutes-there will always be Glitter to remember : )