Release Date: Feb. 24, 2014
Running Time: 98 minutes
Dropping out of the rat race is easier said than done. In Role Models director David Wain’s new comedy Wanderlust, a newly unemployed Paul Rudd abandons his big city ways to take refuge in a hippie commune so he can find himself. Rudd, though, realizes he’s made a huge mistake dragging his wife (Jennifer Aniston) to Elysium the moment they step foot in their door-less room. He instantly feels uncomfortable in a community that shares its possessions, forsakes modern technology, and practices free love. His unease turns to concern when Aniston, who has yet to choose her own career path, becomes increasingly susceptible to the philosophies espoused by Justin Theroux, the commune’s dense but opportunistic leader. Just as Wain did with Rudd in Role Models, Wanderlust drags us into a fringe element of society that seems very strange to the outside world. Wain happily and amusingly regurgitates all the clichés that have ever existed about hippies, first to ridicule them about their beliefs and lifestyle, then to compel us to embrace them on their own terms. The intention, obviously, is for Rudd and Aniston to put their lives into perspective based on their experiences in this “intentional community.” The jokes aimed at both modern society and communal living fly fast but miss their targets as often as they hit them. Wanderlust is at its funniest when we watch Elysium’s wacky rituals and its inhabitants’ oddball behavior through the sarcastic and uptight Rudd’s jaded eyes. When it comes to Rudd and the unusually relaxed Aniston,Wanderlust gives off a certain vibe about their suitability from the get-go. Regrettably, Wain opts for the easy way out when it comes to deciding this couple’s marital fate. So much for adhering to Elysium’s motto of following your own path.
Aired: Feb. 23, 2012
Web site: http://www.wanderlust-movie.com/Wanderlust/home.html