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Wanderlust

Wanderlust

Released 2 March 2012
Director David Wain
Starring



Paul Rudd, Jennifer Aniston, Justin Theroux, Malin Akerman, Kathryn Hahn, Lauren Ambrose, Ken Marino, Alan Alda
Writer(s) Ken Marino, David Wain
Producer(s)

Paul Rudd, Ken Marino, David Wain, Judd Apatow
Origin United States
Running Time 98 minutes
Genre Comedy
Rating 16
65

Road to recovery.

Jennifer Aniston usually never stars in much that doesn't revolve around her hair, who's narrative arc goes from shiny to glossy with a dab of tied back to glossy again, but she's lovable Sandra Bullock-alike and, although I'm not sure why, people never seem to have gotten over the whole getting dumped by Brad thing. Essentially, she's become the scrappy well-coiffured face of the 21st century romantic comedy (and a few hair product lines, I'm sure) and here she stars opposite the ever ubiquitous Paul Rudd (I swear it's beginning to get like that scene from Being John Malkovich in the comedy genre) and for an everyman who could've just been a clueless nostalgic reminder of the ‘90s his star has continued to rise and rise.

David Wain the director/scribe who brought us Wet Hot American Summer and the more recent Role Models proves he can tickle our funny bones again. This time he takes a journey into Apatow-land who co-produced the venture. Of course, there are a lot of premise thin, badly plotted comedies, over reliant on ribald jokes and merry-go-round romper-room activity that Apatow has to answer for but luckily this isn't one of them. It's a funny movie with funny people and Aniston and Rudd are for a change allowed to exercise their comedy muscles for once in a movie that doesn't completely irk me.

Linda (Aniston) and George (Rudd) live New York lifestyles, Linda on her millionth career change is pitching around a documentary about penguins with testicular cancer while George works in a soulless, high paced office job that doesn't even allow him time to react to being hit by a car. Their home is in rental agency speak a 'micro-loft' or in a Irish parlance one step away from being a shoebox. When George loses his job, the couple are forced to move to Atlanta to take a job from George's obnoxious brother (Wain favourite Ken Marino).

Life seems grim until they discover Elysium, a bed and breakfast come commune that's a host site for quirky comedy tropes and a fish out of water narrative that sees the stressed city dwellers reconsider their life options. While the jokes may be exactly those you expect to come from any hippy meets straight laced culture clash comedy, it doesn't really matter and Wain populates the story with a great number of individual character moments that harks back to his earlier successes.

You won't be wowed by Wanderlust, and it doesn't succeed in anything more than laughs and mild fun poking, but it's a broad stroke comedy that'll make an enjoyable cinema trip.

- Cormac O’Brien