By Lane Roberts
When married couple George (Paul Rudd) and Linda (Jennifer Aniston) simultaneously lose their jobs after the economy crashes down on their dreams, they are forced to move to Georgia to live with George’s arrogant brother, Rick (Ken Marino), and his wife, Marisa (Michaela Watkins).
Along the way, they encounter a hippie commune named Elysium, where life is simpler and clothing is optional. What ensues is a messy, but at times hysterically funny, comedy chronicaling the journey of a high-strung couple in need of a fresh start.
Part of a recent trend of films that flirt with the idea of ditching busy and chaotic daily life, Wanderlust features characters who are lured into a lifestyle free of grueling work schedules, lattes and iPhones.
Elysium is a gold mine of eccentric characters, a nudist named Wayne (Joe Lo Truglio), and Seth (Justin Theroux). Wayne’s numerous nude appearances will either have you laughing or turning your head away in disgust while Seth’s outdated technology references are a hilarious reminder of the modern gadget obsession.
The alternative lifestyle of Elysium eventually begins to change the straight-laced visitors. This is where the charming Rudd shines. He plays both roles, the innocuous husband and raunchy member of Elysium flawlessly while Aniston gives another one of her boring, vanilla performances.
Although producer Judd Apatow is now able to garner an audience with his name alone, audiences may be disappointed with this most recent release. Unfortunately, the idea of the romantic comedy for men that was fresh when The 40 Year Old Virgin (2005) was released has now become stale thanks to films like The Hangover (2009).
More upsetting is the lack of lovable, raunchy men found in Apatow’s earlier movies. Instead, the movie seems to rely on its numerous penis jokes to captivate the audience and even though Rudd’s mirror monologue is one of the more memorable scenes in the movie, one would hope the audience has a higher maturity level than that.
Wanderlust is vulgar, obscene and downright disgusting at times. However, it is these qualities that make the film funny. The plot is a bit lacking at times, but laughter will hopefully drown out most of the flaws with the continuity.
This movie may not be for everybody, but it certainly delivers for those who love this type of comedy.