If you’re a fan of the comedy generated by The State and Stella’s David Wain, Ken Marino, and their performer pals, you’ll either be the perfect audience for Wanderlust or you may find the humor overly familiar. I am not a diehard fan, and I found the film mildly amusing.
Jennifer Aniston and Paul Rudd play a married couple who overextend themselves by purchasing a tiny Manhattan apartment. When they inevitably crash and burn, they’re forced to flee to Atlanta, where his successful, blowhard brother (Marino) is willing to take them in. Along the way they stumble onto a hippie-ish commune called Elysium, and come to the conclusion that this may be just what they need: a dose of tranquility and an escape from the rat race. What they don’t realize at first is just how odd and eccentric the group at Elysium really is.
Justin Theroux is persuasive and funny as Elysium’s informal leader. He’s surrounded by such expert comedy performers as Alan Alda, Kerri Kenney-Silver, Joe Lo Truglio, and Kathryn Hahn. (It doesn’t hurt having beautiful Malin Akerman as a proponent of free love.) Aniston and Rudd are ideal “everyman” and “everywoman” characters caught in the grip of these genial nut-cases.
Wanderlust never soars to great comic heights, but it offers a number of laughs and chuckles. Such a modest offering may find its most appreciative audience on video, television, and on demand.