Aniston Headlines for ‘Wanderlust’ Much Ado About Nothing

Monday, September 6, 2010
By Kevin Crossman
Jennifer Aniston in Along Came Polly

Jennifer Aniston in Along Came Polly

When news broke that David Wain would be following up his mainstream comedy breakthrough Role Models with a new movie produced by Judd Apatow, we were suitably stoked. As with Role Models and other Wain projects, Ken Marino was also on board as cowriter and the star of the film would be frequent Wain and Apatow player Paul Rudd. Wanderlust is centered on a married couple escaping city life to live on a commune. The film is from Universal, the studio that has done a great job marketing recent films from Apatow and Wain.

So, who would be playing Rudd’s wife? None other than Jennifer Aniston, who is a favorite of this writer and someone who has previously costarred with Paul Rudd and with the majority of the Frat Pack and many high-profile friends (Ben Stiller, Vince Vaughn, Owen Wilson, Jim Carrey, Jason Bateman, Woody Harrelson). It’s true she comes with some celebrity “baggage” but I’ve found that never hurts the performance on-screen (witness her Earmuff Award winning performance in The Break-Up).

And, let’s face it, Aniston is perfect for this material having played urbane characters for years on both TV and film. So, she’s got the “burnt out city dweller” licked. But, let’s not forget, she can play hippy-dippy and let-loose too (Along Came Polly, Friends with Money, Office Space). So, presuming there is a transformation I think Aniston will be able bridge these two aspects of the character with aplomb. Her previous work with Rudd in Object of My Affection bodes well too.

Of course, all this goodwill is now in the toilet now that the details of the film’s plot have leaked and started tabloid headlines. The first was from Hollywood Life but the meme was quickly picked up across the internet. As you can see from the headlines there is quite a focus on Ms. Aniston but nary a peep about Mr. Rudd.

Of course, a lot of this is much ado about nothing. It isn’t like Aniston hasn’t appeared nude before. She has (according to Mr. Skin) done so twice, along with non-nude but still somewhat edgy love scenes in others such as Derailed. And, guess what, she’s kissed a woman on screen before and smoked pot too.  What happened to our nice “friend” Rachel Green? Oh, the horror!

Then, predictably, a cycle of retractions started…

So, does this change anything? It probably won’t affect the film itself but clearly could impact the marketing. Does Universal play up “Jennifer Aniston like you’ve never seen her before” angle, or do they market the film straight as if her tabloid baggage isn’t there?  A funny trailer focusing on the basic (less purient) details of the plot and some couple moments with Rudd would go a long way.

Wanderlust is scheduled for release in 2011.

7 Responses to “Aniston Headlines for ‘Wanderlust’ Much Ado About Nothing”

  1. ASFan

    I’m not doubting that this is an edgier role for her like her role in Horrible Bosses. Maybe the script actually says her character goes topless for something. Where we draw the line, of course, is whether we’ll see anything, which would (most likely) be a no.

    I like Aniston as well, but I have to say her choice of scripts as of late haven’t been very strong. Someone else pointed out on another site that her most recent films haven’t played to her comedic strengths. Most recently in The Switch, she really wasn’t given much funny material to work with in an otherwise pleasant film. Horrible Bosses and Wanderlust look like interesting films for her to do. And I would bet a good number of people wouldn’t care about Just Go With It, but I saw a behind-the-scenes look on Entertainment Tonight and it looks like she’s being given opportunities to actually be funny in that film instead of just being second fiddle to her male costar.

    What do you mean by the “Jennifer Aniston like you’ve never seen her before” marketing angle? If it’s literally saying that, unless it’s a quote from a critic, it probably wouldn’t be a good idea. Do you mean showing little snippets of Aniston’s character’s edginess in the trailers and such?

  2. Chris

    Just Go With It will most likely suck. It’s a Dennis Dugan movie. Horrible Bosses from what I hear about the script, is hilarious! It will probably feature Jennifer Aniston as Rachel from Friends but way way edgier. Wanderlust, I don’t know what to expect. I do like Aniston and I think she is funny, but she is basically playing the same character in every movie. Maybe she’s a little different in Along Came Polly, but basically all the same.

  3. Kevin Crossman

    >If it’s literally saying that it probably wouldn’t be a good idea.
    Agreed. But it’s been done before…

  4. ASFan

    >Just Go With It will most likely suck. It’s a Dennis Dugan movie.

    Just Go With It will more likely be judged by the chemistry between Sandler and Aniston before anything else really.

  5. Beth

    i’m a huge fan of anything david wain/ken marino, and paul rudd. i don’t mind jennifer, the break-up is one of my all time favorites, but for some reason i am not so excited about this casting. maybe it just seems kind of “been there, done that” for her and the character type.

  6. Chris

    ASFan, I have to disagree. Yeah Sandler and Aniston could have good chemistry, but have you see the crap Dennis Dugan has made over the years. He has only made two movie that I enjoy: Happy Gilmore, and Saving Silverman. Dugan lately has put out I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry, The Benchwarmers, and Grown Ups. I think people highly undermine the Director’s vision of films. Compare Sandler’s movies with Dugan to Sandler’s movie Funny People with Judd Apatow. Huge difference.

  7. ASFan

    Another difference between the Dugan movies and Funny People: Sandler didn’t write the latter, nor did he produce it even though his company did. With Sandler’s movies with Dugan, which are all Happy Madison productions, Sandler writes all of them, credited or uncredited. Additionally, Dugan said in an interview that as a producer, Sandler acts as a director as well, and since Sandler is a producer, more often than not he gets his say over Dugan. So really, it seems more of Sandler’s doing that the films he’s done with Dugan have been subpar and lacking in decent jokes. What if Sandler chose the proper story and came up with decent jokes for it?

    Also, look at Shawn Levy. His films have ranged from average to crappy. By that logic, Date Night should have ended up in that range. Yet it’s actually a good movie and Levy’s best yet. But I doubt that was mostly Levy’s doing. Not at all saying Just Go With It will be as good, but I think you get the picture.


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