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FILM FANS: 'Wanderlust' has lackluster script, humor

EDITOR'S NOTE: Film Fans features local residents reviewing the movie of the week: "Wanderlust." Want to be a film fan? Email features@gwinnettdailypost.com.

2 and 1/2 stars out of 4

If you've seen previews for "Wanderlust," you're probably thinking it's another wacky rom-com. While it starts out that way, it ends up devolving into a mixture of "Couples Retreat" and "The Break Up." Jennifer Aniston is no stranger to uncomfortable and awkward comedy, and this is no exception.

She and Paul Rudd play a married couple who take a leap, buying an expensive studio apartment in upper Manhattan. When George loses his job and her documentary is rejected by HBO, they're forced to move to Atlanta to live with George's obnoxious and offensive brother. On the way, they end up at Elysium, a hippie commune in north Georgia. While there, they find an escape from the "real world" and are forced to face the hard realities of married life. Intended to be played out in a hysterical way, we're instead bombarded with full frontal nudity and long, bizarre gags that bring a few giggles but very few actual laughs.

The cast, including Alan Alda and Malin Akerman, all shine. Aniston, who was such a delicious bad girl in the wonderfully edgy "Horrible Bosses," is back in good girl territory. She's solid here. Unfortunately, the script isn't.-- Ron Adams, Statham

1 and 1/2 stars our of 4

I have always believed that if you can't say something nice, it's best to say as little as possible, so in this case, I will keep my comments brief.

I suppose there are people who are entertained by this brand of humor, with rude, sometimes vulgar insinuations. A naked man proudly displaying himself, graphic sexual comments and conversations, and a profane tirade by one of the stars that would make a sailor blush. For me, there was very little here that I consider funny or entertaining.

Paul Rudd (who also co-wrote) and Jennifer Aniston, both formerly of TV's "Friends," star in this story of a struggling NYC couple who are forced to leave New York in order to find greener pastures. Along their journey, they come upon a second generation hippie-type commune near Atlanta, and begin getting in touch with themselves and others in the "family."

There were some bright spots, for example when Aniston and Alan Alda sneak away from the group, and run into each other at -- believe it or not -- The Gwinnett Diner, where they each fill their craving for red meat instead of the nuts, berries and tree root tea diet at the commune.

Given the choice, I would prefer to watch re-runs of "Friends."-- Steve Kalberg, Lawrenceville

1 star out of 4

Paul Rudd (as George) and Linda, (played by Jennifer Aniston), are a New York couple with seemingly nothing to lose except a stressful caffeinated existence. When they reach their end, they decide to move to Atlanta to stay with George's unlikable brother Rick and alcoholic wife. While on their trek to Atlanta, they take a pit stop at the free for all Elysium, where total immersion in whatever is a way of life. Somewhere between the extremes of Rick's disposition and Elysium, George and Linda look to find a balance in their lifestyle and relationship.

Alan Alda plays a role as one of the co-founders of Elysium, and still "has it," (still a star actor), yet ironically plays a role of someone who's "lost it." Paul Rudd also plays his role well. I think Jennifer Aniston has played the role as a romantic lead character long enough, and it's time for her roles to mature along with her age. To call many of the scenes crude or revolting is complimentary at best. I wouldn't even recommend this movie at the Dollar Theater or Red Box rental. -- Cathryn Veal, Lawrenceville