Movie Review: "Wanderlust"


“Wanderlust” (Universal)

Oh Jennifer Aniston, what have you gone and done now! What she has done is put herself in another dead end comedy that will alienate all but her most ardent fans. This mess of a movie focuses on a “hippie colony” that offers sex and nudity, if you want it. Paul Rudd and Aniston play a nice enough couple who are almost ruined by their participation in this lifestyle. Didn’t we learn anything from the 60’s?

George and Linda (Rudd and Aniston) can’t seem to catch a break in their employment schemes. At the start of the movie she has her hopes pinned on a documentary of hers selling to HBO, and he hopes to hang on to the New York City job he has. Neither happens. Her documentary doesn’t sell and he loses his job.

Off they go to Atlanta where he hopes to work for his brother. When that doesn’t work out he and Linda retreat to a straight out of the 60’s place called “Elysium.” They had stayed here on their way to Atlanta after they had an accident with their car. Now they decide to give this lifestyle a two week trial and see how they like this free and easy brand of living.

The head guru at “Elysium” is Seth (Justin Theroux). He seems to have all the people there under his influence and now he has his eye on Linda. George has come into the radar of Eva (Malin Ackerman) who just wants to have a little fling with him. Linda and George are not sure, however, about how they feel about the free love thing.

All of the hippie rants and all the hippie ways of doing things are a complete turn-off for the audience. They don’t want to see a nice couple like George and Linda despoiled by the likes of this group. The whole movie is spent waiting for them to come to their senses.

Rudd is always likeable in any role he takes and he maintains that record with this performance. Aniston just seems out of it all. She never latches on to her character and just drifts through the movie adrift.

Alan Alda has a cameo as Carlin, the founder of this locale and it is an embarrassment seeing him reduced to playing such a role. Why would he be caught dead in a worthless movie like this one?

The film is rated R for profanity and nudity.

“Wanderlust” is the latest “adult” comedy in a long line of losing adult comedies. The secret is that any comedy needs to be funny and just being gross, profane and nude are not enough to attract a large audience.

I scored “Wanderlust” a roaming 4 out of 10.    

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