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Picks and Pans Main: Movies

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Jennifer Aniston, Paul Rudd, Justin Theroux | R |


Insipid, tedious and lacking in common sense, Wanderlust has nothing to offer a discerning viewer. But hey, Aniston got a boyfriend from this ridiculous enterprise, so that’s something positive, right? The aforementioned beau, Theroux, plays Seth, the New-Agey leader of Elysium, a Georgia commune happened upon by George (Rudd) and Linda (Aniston), a couple who can no longer afford their New York lifestyle. After a night of pot, drum circles and skinny-dipping, the pair decide to stay in Elysium. That’s when everything goes wrong-for us (the heck with George and Linda, they made their bed). It’s a stream of lame jokes about hippies doing things no sane person would tolerate. I don’t care how enlightened you think you are, if a stranger wants to watch you on the toilet, they need therapy.

Incredibly, Wanderlust isn’t entirely without merit. Linda Lavin is terrific as George and Linda’s shady realtor, and Aniston and Rudd come off relatively unscathed. But a script in which one character announces, “We adopted a black baby,” then reveals that it’s his new SUV? That thing needs burning.

The Secret World of Arrietty

Carol Burnett, Amy Poehler | G |


Shawn (David Henrie) may be sickly, but his eyes are keen enough to spot Arrietty (Bridgit Mendler). That’s impressive, since Arrietty is about the size of a teaspoon, the only child in a family of Borrowers, so called for the provisions they liberate from the “human beans” living above them. Based on Mary Norton’s 1952 classic, Arrietty is a story of cross-cultural friendship, lushly animated and mellower than most kids’ fare. The tranquility is threatened by Shawn’s nosy maid Hara (Burnett), who’s desperate to prove the Borrowers exist. Burnett camps it up delightfully, but if kids also come to appreciate seeing the wide, wondrous world from Arrietty’s tiny perspective, that’s okay too.