When he suddenly loses his job, and her documentary is rejected by HBO, Paul Rudd and Jennifer Aniston find that they’re suddenly facing a financial crisis. After a brief stop at his unbearable brother’s, the couple decide to leave the rat race behind and join a modern-day hippie commune.
They find they have some difficulties adjusting, as anyone would expect when moving into a living situation where there’s few modern conveniences, no privacy, no ownership, nudism, open sexuality and strict vegetarianism.
Normally I would say “Comedy fails to ensue”, but I’m hearing all the hippies from this freaking movie encouraging me to say “Comedy chose its own, non-ensuing path”…
I just wasn’t laughing.
Essentially Rudd and Aniston stumble across the most hippified place in the known universe. It’s a bed and breakfast / living community that hosts a 24 hr guitar strumming bake-fest, punctuated with morning yoga sessions, free love, and tea that makes you trip out. Initially, they only stay one very enjoyable night, but when they push on in the morning and finally arrive at Rudd’s brother’s (who is played annoyingly by Ken Marino), it isn’t long before they decide to go back and give living there a shot.
When they do, they discover there’s a considerable difference between staying the night and staying. Primarily that they’re given absolutely no privacy. But they also discover that the commune practices “Free Love”, which poses a challenge to the married couple.
The humor here, really, all derives from how funny you find modern hippies.
I mean, there’s not a lot of gags aside from. Ha! It’s funny this guy likes to live nude, and Ha-ha, they got mad at him because he killed a fly. Isn’t it silly, he sleeps in a tree? It’s just not something I find inherently funny. Oh my god, they’re blowing a didgeridoo in the middle of the night! Boowahaahh! They’re such hippies they want their baby’s umbilical cord to fall off naturally! OH HO HO HO!!
I mean (shrugs).
I don’t know, I guess I kind of expected Rudd to be at his sarcastic best here. Given the set up, I thought he would be mocking and deriding things left and right. But for the most part, he actually doesn’t. He kind of plays it straight most of the way through as someone who’s trying to accept the new lifestyle, and then snaps at the end. I would have preferred constant snark across the board.
There’s also a couple of really bad characters here. Ken Marino is just, more obnoxious than he’s ever been. And he’s been pretty obnoxious previously (although I’ve liked him in other things). The hippies are all some variety of burnout or another, but a few of them will really test your patience.
My major issue with the movie, though, is its willingness to “push a joke”. There were a handful of instances in the film where they would do a bit of comedy… and then stay with it… and stay with it… and stay with it. Now. If you’re laughing, if you’re finding it funny, I’m sure it would be killing you, you know? Ha-ha-ha! Make it stop! That sort of thing. But if you’re not (and I wasn’t) it’s just agonizing to watch. It’s more like Groann… Make. It. Stop.
There were a handful of moments cringe-worthy moments, a lack of funny characters, and overall, just a general lack of things I found funny. It’s gonna be a wildly hit or miss movie. For me it’s a miss.