Wanderlust, from director David Wain (The State, Wet Hot American Summer) and co-writer Ken Marino, outlines and explores a premise that will probably resonate with many people: a young couple, navigating the grind of city life but trapped by their own fears and inadequacies, is forced to leave the city and take refuge with family by dual economic misfortunes.

Well, that part of the premise might resonate. The next bit is perhaps less familiar: the couple’s final destination ends up being Elysium, a commune-like community where their frigid inability to relax is cracked and thawed by an ultra-crunchy lifestyle. (Admittedly, the attentions of a couple of sexually aggressive residents doesn’t hurt.)

For the most part, Wanderlust isn’t a deep character study or a particularly perceptive dissection of human nature. (For something closer to that, see Lukas Moodysson’s Together, which was likely an inspiration for Wain.) This is more like seeing the funhouse mirror caricatures of Wet Hot American Summer grown to adulthood. This film doesn’t quite celebrate the same sense of absurdity, and doing so — living up to one of the film’s own arguments, you could say — might make it more of a keeper. Yet Wanderlust is possessed of a strong  enough free spirit that you might want to join its (almost) free-love drum circle just the same. Read More »


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The great, wacky 2001 comedy Wet Hot American Summer didn’t do any respectable box office business, but the deep goofiness of the film has generated a fervent cult following in the decade since its original release. It doesn’t hurt that the film featured a treasure trove of comic talent, some in the early stages of their careers: Janeane Garofalo, David Hyde Pierce, Michael Showalter, Michael Ian Black, Zak Orth, A.D. Miles, Paul Rudd, Christopher Meloni, Molly Shannon, Ken Marino, Joe Lo Truglio, Amy Poehler, Elizabeth Banks and Bradley Cooper.

The film suggested the possibility of a sequel, and the sequel is a frequent object of inquiry when director David Wain or one of the primary cast members does an interview, even a decade later. In the last couple years, Wain has said that a sequel or prequel isn’t out of the question, despite the fact that Universal doesn’t seem to believe in the project, and several of the original cast members have a much higher quote now than they did a decade ago.

But there may be reason to rejoice, fans of WHAS: Michael Showalter now says that a sequel is “absolutely happening”! Read More »

‘Party Down’ Movie to Begin Shooting Next Summer?

It’s become fashionable for shows to hint at a follow-up feature film as they make their way off the air, from brilliant-but-cancelled series like Arrested Development and Veronica Mars to the somewhat less brilliant but much longer-lived Entourage. Sometimes, those plans really do come to fruition, as with Serenity (based on Firefly) and Sex and the City. But more often, nothing comes to pass — have you seen trailers for the Arrested Development or Veronica Mars movies yet?

One beloved show that’s been promising a possible feature film sequel is Party Down, Starz’ terminally underwatched series about the comical goings-on at a catering company in Hollywood. I’ve been kinda skeptical about this project actually getting off the ground since it was first announced, but it seems the cast and crew involved are more optimistic than I am. In a recent interview, star Adam Scott revealed that not only is the Party Down movie coming together, it just might begin shooting next summer. Read his quote after the jump.

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We hate when great comedy shows are killed off prematurely, and love when the possibility arises that they might rise from the grave to take over movie screens. The idea of an Arrested Development movie is something that has generated a surplus of questions and speculation, and that project seems to be slowly (slowly) crawling towards the light.

Party Down is a much more recent cancellation, and still more of a niche show than Arrested Development was. But it may actually be closer to hitting movie screens, as producer Rob Thomas says that a movie deal is in the works. Read More »

It’s the first official day of summer, and therefore the longest day of the year, and a withering 95 degrees outside my window. (But it ain’t the heat; it’s the humidity.) So what better time to talk about one of the best summer comedies? David Wain‘s Wet Hot American Summer was made on a relatively small budget and greeted by a seemingly disinterested audience in 2001. But the film has found an enthusiastic cult audience, and one of the tenets of cult movie enthusiasm is holding out hope for a sequel, no matter how unlikely.

In this case, blame the film itself for some of the sequel dreams — it actively advances the idea of a sequel by having the characters end the movie joking about organizing a ten-year reunion. And so, almost every time David Wain gives an interview the question comes up: where’s the sequel? But the movie didn’t do well ten years ago and Universal doesn’t seem to think it will do well now. (Don’t expect a feature-laden anniversary DVD release.)

That doesn’t mean the idea of another movie with the characters (played by Janeane Garofalo, David Hyde Pierce, Michael Showalter, Michael Ian Black, Zak Orth, A.D. Miles, Paul Rudd, Christopher Meloni, Molly Shannon, Ken Marino, Joe Lo Truglio, Amy Poehler, and Bradley Cooper) is 100% out of the realm of possibility, however. It’s probably only about 98% impossible. Read More »

Briefly: The man once high in the running to be crowned king of all manchildren has truly grown up: he’ll be playing the father of a character played by a comic who inherited his mantle. Let’s clarify. Adam Sandler will play the father and Andy Samberg his son in a film called I Hate You Dad.

THR explains that the film is about “a father who moves in on the eve of his son’s wedding and promptly begins feuding with the bride-to-be.” There’s no director at this point; the script is being developed at Happy Madison. But wait, here’s where it gets good: the original draft of the script was by David Caspe, but was rewritten by David Wain and Ken Marino. Suddenly I’ve got to pay attention to this one. If I Hate You Dad goes forward we’ll give you all the info.

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Wanderlust, the Paul Rudd and Jennifer Aniston comedy about a married couple who try to escape modern society and end up in a hippie commune, is really starting to come together. Much of the cast has already been set—first Justin Theroux (Mulholland Dr.) joined, then Six Feet Under’s Lauren Ambrose hopped on board, and most recently Alan Alda and Malin Akerman were thrown into the mix—and now the always enjoyable Ray Liotta has been added to round out the group. No word on what the part entails, but I’m betting on him playing a stern, ill-tempered police officer who complicates things for our protagonists. Here’s hoping he proves me wrong by getting cast against type this time around.

Judd Apatow is producing the film, along with Paul Rudd, David Wain and Ken Marino, the three of whom teamed up before on Wet Hot American Summer and Role Models. Wain is directing from a script he co-wrote with Marino. This pairing sold me from day one, and the cast certainly doesn’t hurt. [The Hollywood Reporter]

After the break, the single-location thriller ATM gets a casting change. Read More »

Julia Stiles

There has been a lot of talk about this over the past couple weeks, but now its official: Julia Stiles is part of the cast of Dexter‘s fifth season on Showtime. When originally rumored, there was no info on her role. Showtime’s official statement says she’ll appear in ten episodes of the next season as ” a mysterious young woman who forms a unique relationship with Dexter (Michael C. Hall) in the wake of” the end of the fourth season. I edited a season four spoiler out of that line, but if you’ve been following the show you can mentally insert the relevant info. [Deadline]

After the break, Iron Man 2 writer Justin Theroux gets Wanderlust, and Spielberg’s TV series Terra Nova may have a lead actor. Read More »


Fans of Role Models and Wet Hot American Summer, take note and rejoice: David Wain will direct Wanderlust, a comedy written by Wain, Paul Rudd and Ken Marino. Rudd and Jennifer Aniston will star, with Judd Apatow producing. Read More »