Wanderlust | Film review
Paul Rudd and Jennifer Aniston let loose.
Happily marrieds George (Paul Rudd) and Linda (Jennifer Aniston) finally have a place to call home. The apartment (a Manhattan “mini loft”) is viable; the job prospects, from a flush financial firm to the documentary wing of HBO, more than promising. It only takes a single afternoon for the bubble to pop, however, and soon the freshly jobless and homeless couple is on the road down South, heading toward a new life with a badgering relative. After one fateful turnoff en route, George and Linda come face-to-cock with a nudist resident (the only one, thankfully) of a commune where the stresses of modern life are seemingly nonexistent. Could this be home instead?
Director David Wain (Role Models) makes no bones about this often gut-busting comedy’s rail-thin premise: Creaky plot points—a missing deed, greedy land developers out to raze the commune, a poseur-cum-traitor (Justin Theroux) in the midst—are trotted out as catch-your-breath placeholders between screamingly funny sequences of George and Linda adjusting to their alternative lifestyle. (Rudd’s pep-talk-to-self after he’s received permission to bang free-love goddess Malin Akerman is a work of profane genius.) None of the hilarity is enough to keep Wanderlust from feeling like a late-night comedy-show sketch stretched to feature length. But why look a giggle-prone gift horse in the mouth?