Film Review: Paul Rudd, Jennifer Aniston Take Funny Trip to Hippie Nirvana in ‘Wanderlust’

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CHICAGO – David Wain’s “Wanderlust” is a deeply flawed movie. The female lead is woefully underwritten and the script pretty much falls apart at the end as characters do things they wouldn’t do and it rushes to its credits to wrap everything up in an awkward montage. But here’s the thing – it’s also DAMN funny. Much like Wain’s “Role Models,” the heavy laughter in the theater will make the flaws much easier to ignore. It could have been great but it’s just manically hysterical and fearless enough to be pretty damn good. Oscarman rating: 3.5/5.0
Rating: 3.5/5.0

George (Paul Rudd) and Linda (Jennifer Aniston) have a happy marriage and the film opens with their purchase of a “micro-loft” in New York City. Into their wildly expensive and incredibly small,apartment George and Linda move their lives and are instantly hit by life-changing problems. George is fired after his company faces federal investigation and Linda goes to present her incredibly depressing documentary about penguins with testicular cancer to HBO and gets rebuffed. Neither has a career prospect to pay for their trendy apartment mortgage. They do what so many have been forced to do – they pack up and leave.

StarRead Brian Tallerico’s full review of “Wanderlust” in our reviews section.

While looking for a place to sleep during their trip from New York to George’s brother in Atlanta, the pair finds the opposite of the Bates Motel in a commune called Elysium. Thinking they would just snooze in a cozy B&B, the couple is shocked first by nudist wine maker Wayne (Joe Lo Truglio) and then by the awkward humor of Kathy (Kerry Kenney-Silver) but it’s just a night. They can move on in the morning.

After barely falling asleep, George and Linda awake to a party on the first floor and the grounds around Elysium. It turns out that the place is pure hippie nirvana, including copious weed, free love, and generally peaceful vibes, man. The urbanites have a wonderful evening, enjoying the vibes of the residents Elysium like leader Seth (Justin Theroux), patriarch Carvin (Alan Alda), gorgeous Eva (Malin Akerman), aggressive Karen (Kathryn Hahn), and couple Almond (Lauren Ambrose) & Rodney (Jordan Peele). When they arrive at George’s brother Rick’s (Ken Marino) house the next day and are confronted by his general awfulness and that of his drunk wife (a great Michaela Watkins), they run back to Elysium and decide to move on.

StarContinue reading for Brian Tallerico’s full “Wanderlust” review.

“Wanderlust” stars Paul Rudd, Jennifer Aniston, Justin Theroux, Alan Alda, Malin Akerman, Ken Marino, Joe Lo Truglio, Kathryn Hahn, Kerri Kenney-Silver, Lauren Ambrose, Michaela Watkins, and Jordan Peele. It was written by David Wain & Marino and directed by Wain. It is rated R and opens on February 24th, 2012.

Photo credit: Universal

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