Release Date: February 24, 2012
Director: David Wain
Stars: Paul Rudd, Jennifer Aniston, Malin Åkerman
Runtime: 98 min
Tagline: Leave your baggage behind
George (Paul Rudd) and Linda (Jennifer Aniston) are a Manhattan couple suddenly stricken with unemployment. They must relocate to George’s brother’s place in Atlanta to survive in this dog-eat-dog world. Along the way, they stop at Elysium Bed and Breakfast, a small commune away from society where hippies get high and play instruments. George starts to enjoy this place, and when he actually gets to his brother’s place – he realizes he doesn’t want to be bossed around in what may be his last days on earth, he wants it to be filled with love and enjoyment. The couple agree to a trial-run of two weeks at Elysium, a place where free love rules. At first Linda is skeptical, but eventually, she starts to enjoy it a little more than he does.
As far as strange mainstream comedies go, Wanderlust is pretty high up on the list. There’s a running theme of peace and love throughout the feature; but basically, it’s about the relationship and struggles between George and Linda. George has more of a conservative attitude, and Linda’s attitude changes over time to match that of Elysium. George, as a man, says he’s okay with the free love attitude – but he really isn’t. This brings rise to some very poor communication problems, but it also brings rise to the funniest scene of the film where George wants to put his diack in Eva (Malin Åkerman). Really and truly, that’s the only scene that could get me to laugh my ass off in any way, thanks to the comedic talent of Paul Rudd. Other than that, there is usually just some chuckles and little laughs along the way. The only sort-of good characters are George, Linda (if you can dismiss her irritating behaviour and Anniston’s traditional rom-com humour), and Eva (but it really helps that Åkerman is really sexy). Though, the characters portrayed by Jordan Peele and Joe Lo Truglio are pretty funny. Alan Alda’s character is good at first, but he soon gets irritating. The most annoying character is Kathy, a character whose jokes don’t make you laugh, they make you uncomfortable. She is unbearably irritating and frustrating.
There’s a message of leave the real world behind and see what life is like without all the technology and the influence of the media. This is a pleasant message because it is never shoved down the audience’s throat, and it is only subtly evident.
Wanderlust falls victim to some romantic comedy cliches, but not enough to make the film unbearable. It’s fairly predictable, sometimes dull, sometimes obnoxious, and it has a lot of hit-and-miss characters and jokes. It’s usually fun and entertaining, too, though.The purpose isn’t too evident, but Rudd, Aniston and Åkerman carry it well. The worst thing about this film is probably the nudity: there is a lot of nudity, but the ones taking off their clothes aren’t the ones you’d want to see nude (and when Aniston is, she’s censored).