Daily News header

Wanderlust Film Review

By     get stories by email

Conventional Couple Tries Hippie Commune in Fish-Out-of-WaterComedy

Happily-married Linda (Jennifer Aniston) and George (Paul Rudd) finally took the plunge into home ownership after being convinced by their realtor's (Linda Lavin) sales pitch that a "micro loft" in the West Village would be a great investment. However, when the ambitious workaholic subsequently loses his high-paying, high-stress job, they are forced to sell the postage stamp-sized studio apartment at a big loss.

Unable to afford Manhattan any longer, they decide to take up George's brother's (Ken Marino) generous offer of a job and a place to live until they can get back on their feet. So, they pack up the car and start the long drive to Atlanta.

jen
Photo: www.rottentomatoes.com

En route, they book a room for a night at what they think is merely a quaint, country bed and breakfast located off the beaten path. But they immediately get a hint that something strange is afoot at Elysium when they are greeted in the driveway by a naked guy (Joe Lo Truglio) who isn't the slightest bit modest about it. Next, they learn that they have just checked into a free-love commune which considers monogamy tantamount to sexual slavery.

Linda is initially creeped-out by the cult while George finds himself a little intrigued by the alternate lifestyle. Nevertheless, she grudgingly agrees not only to move in but to have an open relationship to boot, in order to make her husband happy.

Then, lo and behold, Linda takes to the arrangement, too, and she soon seduces Seth (Justin Theroux), a hirsute hunk who serenades her with his guitar. George, on the other hand, has a harder time bringing himself to cheat on his wife with the attractive young blonde (Malin Akerman) propositioning him.

wander
Photo: www.rottentomatoes.com

Can this marriage survive the infidelity and incessant temptation? That is the recurring question posed by Wanderlust, a fish-out-of-water comedy directed by David Wain (Wet Hot American Summer).

The picture was produced by Judd Apatow, whose string of coarse teensploitation flicks includes Bridesmaids, Knocked Up, Superbad, Pineapple Express and Forgetting Sarah Marshall. Seizing on the flimsiest of excuses for gratuitous full-frontal nude shots, Apatow again remains faithful to his shallow, stated mission to feature male genitalia prominently in every movie he makes. Thus, fans of that phallus philosophy will not be disappointed.

Of far more consequence is the conviction which Jennifer Aniston and Paul Rudd bring to their performances as the couple in crisis. They succeed in holding together an implausible storyline whose saving grace rests in all the cheap laughs coming courtesy of simplistic stereotypes about aging hippies, hallucinating addicts, bohemian bimbos, insatiable sexaholics and na´ve New Agers. The talented leads are ably assisted in this endeavor by a gifted supporting cast stocked with versatile veterans like Alan Alda and Ray Liotta, as well as scene-stealing comediennes such as Kathryn Hahn and Kerri Kenney.

A humorous send-up of the 21st Century commune as a hedonistic dystopia for spoiled brats who can't cope with the real world.

Very Good (3 stars)

Rated R for profanity, sexuality, drug use and graphic nudity.

Running time: 98 minutes

Distributor: Universal Pictures

The trailer for Wanderlust:

Kam Williams is a syndicated film and book critic who writes for 100+ publications. He is a member of the New York Film Critics Online, the African-American Film Critics Association, and the NAACP Image Awards Nominating Committee. Contact him through NewsBlaze. Read more reviews by Kam Williams.

  Please click this get stories by email button to be notified about future stories, and please leave a comment below.

  Please leave a comment here     If it does not display within 10 seconds, please refresh the page

Related Movie Reviews News

Wish I Was Here is the culmination of Zach's personal filmmaking at its best. As the movie's co-writer, director, star and producer, he was involved in nearly every aspect of the creative development.
A National Movie is now being cast by the A+ Agency, Rose Casting. To mark Independence Day, Dinesh D'Souza released the film version of his recent book America.
Movie reviewer Prairie Miller interviews Actress, Mandy Moore about Building Better Lives.
Prairie Miller talks to Patricia Arquette about her starring role in a Richard Linklater dramatic feature, contrasting it with the formulaic fluff of Hollywood.
A man with serious anger management issues gets fired for losing his temper on the job, and makes his way to Rittenhouse Square where things go from bad to worse.
But where Neeson was a retired CIA agent, Cage plays a reformed ex-con. And while the former was frantically searching for his missing daughter, the latter is looking for whoever fired a fatal bullet into the head of his daughter. As for the villain

 

NewsBlaze Writers Of The Month



Popular Stories This Month

newsletter logo

NewsBlaze
Copyright © 2004-2014 NewsBlaze Pty. Ltd.
Use of this website is subject to our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy  | DMCA Notice               Press Room   |    Visit NewsBlaze Mobile Site