A fish-out-of-water couple plot is an easy way to sum up Wanderlust. So far it is one of the funniest movies of 2012 for me. This is not your typical Judd Apatow film where the characters and the situation create the punchline. A lot of Paul Rudd and Jennifer Aniston fans will enjoy this movie for the simple reason that it has Paul Rudd and Jennifer Aniston in it, but honestly even for non-fans, Paul Rudd & Jennifer Aniston are great together in this movie. If you’re familiar with writer David Wain’s humor, from movies like Role Models or the television series Children’s Hospital, then you know this movie is full of crazy foul jokes and lots of male and female nudity. Of course these are the things that made me laugh out loud.
Basic synopsis: Rattled by sudden unemployment, a Manhattan couple surveys alternative living options, ultimately deciding to experiment with living on a rural commune where free love rules. George (Paul Rudd) and Linda (Jennifer Aniston) are heading to New York to follow their dreams and end up renting something I never even heard of called a “microloft,” or what the real estate agent wants to portray as a Microloft. It’s amazingly small, and a loft, thus the name. As soon as the couple finally agree on moving in all hell breaks loose for the rest of the movie. Linda’s documentary about penguins is not picked up by HBO as she had hoped and George suddenly loses his job when his boss is led out of the office in handcuffs. So now here they are in New york City, broke, jobless and they have to sell the now-called “studio apartment” and move to Atlanta to live with George’s horrible verbally-abusive brother, Rick (Ken Marino).
On their trip from New York To Atlanta they stop at a bed-and-breakfast that turns out to be a commune that should have been called “Asylum” and not “Elysium” because it is chock full of a zany group of bohemians, hippies, nudists, wine-making writers and a mish-mash of free love thinkers. Let just say this was a real culture shock to George and Linda, and after being chased by a naked man holding a glass of wine named Wayne (Joe Lo Truglio) they end up spending a night at this commune and find out it’s not so bad living without their computers and iPads. After a few days of abuse from George’s asshole abusive brother and alcoholic wife they decide to give it all up and go back to the welcome arms of the commune and really try to make a go of it. If you haven’t seen the trailer, check it out:
What works with this movie is the how the main characters have to learn to adapt from being city dwellers when faced with the easygoing lifestyles of Elysium’s open ways. I had a good time laughing at some pretty funny one-liners and enjoyed watching the couple try to adapt to the free love lifestyle. The real stars of this movie are the residents of Elysium, with the standouts being Seth (Justin Theroux), a walking cliche of hippie ideology who spends half the movie trying to get Jennifer Aniston to love him, and Carvin (Alan Alda), one of the original members of the commune who has a penchant for remembering ALL the names of the founding members of Elysium but not much else.
The movie is very close to being one of those memorable comedies with eclectic characters that comes out early enough to not be overshadowed by summer blockbusters. It has some uncomfortable moments, for sure, but I would definitely say if you are looking for a funny, dick-in-your-face rated R date night movie to see this weekend, then Wanderlust is what you should be seeing. I give it 4 out of 5 Nerdskulls.