Film Review “Wanderlust”

Starring: Paul Rudd, Jennifer Aniston and Justin Theroux
Directed by: David Wain
Rated: R
Running time: 1 hour 51 mins

Our Score: 2.5 out of 5 stars

It was truly an offshoot of the 1960s. They were called communes – small tribes made up of many different people who grew their own food and lived by their own food. Each commune had a leader, someone who would guide the others both literally and spiritually. Like the communes, their leaders were often very different. Sometimes you got Michael Metellica. Sometimes you got Charles Manson.

George (Rudd) and Linda (Aniston) are a young married couple that just bought their first New York City property, a tiny studio apartment (or “micro-loft” if you believe the real estate agent). Linda is still in that stage of life where she hasn’t really nailed down a career path. She’s currently promoting a documentary film she made about penguins…and the many ways they die. George is unhappy at work. When fate intervenes in their lives they find themselves on the road, where a stop at a roadside bed and breakfast changes they’re lives.

Sometimes outrageously funny and other times dead on arrival, “Wanderlust” isn’t sure what it wants to be. Is it a commentary on today…a terrible economy and people going back to working the land to survive? Is it a discussion on how we all have to be responsible for our own decisions? Or is it a hilarious fish out of water comedy? If you find out, let me know.

It’s not like the cast isn’t trying. Rudd has always excelled at playing the sometimes sarcastic every man. Theroux, who has played everyone from John Hancock to Jesus Christ is surprisingly funny as Seth, a combination of Jim Jones and Tripper Harrison (Bill Murray’s camp counselor in “Meatballs”). His constant rants about the evils of technology (fax machines ) seem to indicate he hasn’t been out in the world since the 1980s. The supporting cast is led by Alan Alda, Malin Akerman and Kathryn Hahn, who portray various residents. If there’s a false note in the cast it’s Aniston, who seems to always end up playing the same kind of character when she stars in a movie. Give me the character actress Aniston from “Rock Star,” “Office Space” or “Horrible Bosses” anytime over another cookie cut role.

The comedy is raunchy at times and, in keeping with what seems to be the new trend in adult comedies, there are plenty of shots of penises included.

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