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Paul Rudd and Jennifer Aniston are a pair of city slickers who decide to drop out of the rat race and spend some time on a commune. Directed by David Wain, opens Feb. 24.
"Wanderlust" stars Paul Rudd and Jennifer Aniston as George and Linda, a pair of New York City yuppies; he does something vaguely financial, she's a lifelong dilettante whose latest foray is as a documentary filmmaker. When he loses his job, the couple is forced to move out of their "micro-loft" and head to Atlanta, where a job awaits him at his brother's company. On there way, they stop off at a B & B that turns out to be an "intentional community," which is not to be confused with a commune, which is just a bunch of hippies sitting around smoking pot and playing guitar, which is exactly what this place is.
After a gloriously restful night's sleep, the venture on to Atlanta, where George's brother, Rick (Ken Marino, who also co-wrote the film) proves to be as lousy a boss as he is a human being. In a fit of rage George convinces Linda to head back to Elysium, where they can follow their bliss, free from the bonds of their Blackberries.
Writer-director David Wain is a hailed as a genius in some circles. He was the driving force behind the cult hit "Wet Hot American Summer," as well as the brilliant web series "Wainy Days." More recently, Wain helmed the 2008 guilty pleasure "Role Models," which, like "Wanderlust" took aim at a slow fat target, with Rudd at center of the action.
But where "Role Models" made sport of the fairly recent phenomenon known as LARPers, here the butt of the jokes is hippies, a subculture that has been (rightly) mocked for decades, making it real hard to come up with fresh material: Free love! That tea is a hallucinogen! Who wants placenta?!?! Rudd tried to work this heavily tilled soil just last year in the underwhelming "My Idiot Brother," with some of the same co-conspirators in tow, leaving even less with which to work.
Predictably, George regrets the move while Linda embraces it, and both find themselves pursued by the hottest residents of their opposite sex, Justin Theroux and Malin Ackerman. And the intentional communers find their homestead threatened by corporate greedheads, and George leaves Linda…
Michela Watkins as Rick's margarita-self-medicated wife, Marissa, supplies most of the films funniest moments as she floats around in a besotted haze, with occasionally flashes of rage slurring out of her mouth. And despite being naked for much of the film, Joe Lo Truglio has a great sub-plot involving his long-gestating novel.
"Wanderlust" has its moments, but with this much talent on hand, you'd expect a lot more laughs.