Skip to content

Movie Review: Wanderlust

February 24, 2012

Wanderlust – A Universal Pictures’ Release

Release Date: February 24th, 2012

Rated 14A for coarse language, sexual content, substance abuse and nudity

Running time: 98 minutes

David Wain (dir.)

David Wain (writer)

Ken Marino (writer)

Craig Wedren (music)

Paul Rudd as George

Jennifer Aniston as Linda

Justin Theroux as Seth

Alan Alda as Carvin

Malin Akerman as Eva

Ken Marino as Rick

Joe Lo Truglio as Wayne

Kathryn Hahn as Karen

Kerri Kenney-Silver as Kathy

Lauren Ambrose as Almond

Michaela Watkins as Marissa

Jordan Peele as Rodney

©Universal Pictures.  All Rights Reserved.

George (Paul Rudd) and Linda (Jennifer Aniston) in Wanderlust.

Our reviews below:


Wanderlust Review By John C.

** (out of 4)

Sometimes funny and other times just plain stupid, Wanderlust is made watchable due to the likability of Paul Rudd and Jennifer Aniston.  No matter how you cut it, the strength of these two leads and how they react to the supporting players is what brings the laughs in this uneven comedy.

George (Paul Rudd) and Linda (Jennifer Aniston) are a married couple living in a tiny “microloft” in New York.  When he is fired and her documentary project is shot down by HBO, they pack up and leave the big city to go live with George’s obnoxious brother, Rick (Ken Marino).  But then they take a detour and happen to stumble upon Elysium.  A clothing optional “intentional community” in the backwoods of Atlanta, the commune is led by the freewheeling Seth (Justin Theroux) who encourages free love and the open use of hallucinogenic drugs.  A mix of funniness and some dumb jokes ultimately ensues.

The funniest scene comes between Paul Rudd and a mirror.  His interactions are always hilarious, even with himself.  But the only characters seen living outside of the commune or who don’t consider that lifestyle, are all obnoxious morons who have more money than they know what to do with.  I wish that the script had spent a little more time showing normal people who lead regular lives, rather than demonizing everyone who lives outside of the commune.  Aside from the amusing Joe Lo Truglio as the resident nudist, the majority of the supporting cast seems to treat the material more as a series of sketches.  Some of the grosser sight gags are just plain stupid.

The latest from director David Wain, Wanderlust isn’t anywhere near as good as his previous films like Wet Hot American Summer and Role Models.  But there is some funny stuff here and some of the jokes are hilarious, like Paul Rudd talking to himself in the mirror.  Although there isn’t much great material and the script shouldn’t have been so demonizing to those living outside of the commune, Paul Rudd and Jennifer Aniston are both entertaining and likable enough in the leading roles to make the consistently raunchy Wanderlust very mildly worth a look.


Wanderlust Review by Erin V.  

**1/2 (out of 4)

In the new comedy Wanderlust, husband and wife George (Paul Rudd) and Linda (Jennifer Aniston) find themselves having to move after they can’t make their payments on their New York apartment.  So they head out towards Georgia, in order to stay with George’s ignorant brother while they find work, but along the way they end up crashing into a tree outside of a hippie ‘intentional community’ called Elysium, who’s residents include a nudist author, Wayne (Joe Lo Truglio), and the weird leader of the group, Seth (Justin Theroux).

At first George is taken by the alternative lifestyle and after finally getting to his brother’s, he says to Linda that they should go back to Elysium, where everyone seemed happier.  She reluctantly agrees to try it for two weeks, but once they get there, she fits right in and it is George who realizes that this may not be what he wants after all.

Although a bit uneven in terms of script and comedy at times, overall you’ll be entertained and get some good laughs out of this one – provided you don’t mind raunchy humour.  It certainly won’t lose anything on DVD though.  The reason it works as well as it does, is directly due to the fine work by the two leads, Rudd and Aniston.  They have good chemistry together, and Rudd provides the straight-man look at things that is certainly needed in a comedy such as this with the many eccentric characters on screen.


Wanderlust Review by Nicole

**1/2 (out of 4)

Life is full of surpirses.  In Wanderlust, one married couple finds this out in a rather unusual way.  Linda (Jennifer Aniston) an aspiring filmmaker and children’s book illustrator, and George (Paul Rudd) a successful businessman, live a decent life.  But when they both find themselves out of work, they must find a new place to live.  The home of George’s obnoxious brother and his wife is no fun, so Linda and Geroge set off again, only to find themselves lost at a small organic farm.

It turns out that the farm is home to a ragtag group of neo-hippies who live in a clothing optional intentional community based on voluntary simplicity.  Although some of the “freeloving” ideas threaten Linda and Geroge’s marriage, the intentional community teaches them a valuable lesson about slowing down and enjoying the natural beauty around them.

Wanderlust is a lot of fun.  Linda and Geroge are quite likable, with good chemistry between them.  The people in the intentional community are lovably eccentric in their own ways.  Even the occasional full frontal nudity in Wanderlust feels natural, and in no way sexual or out of place.  The sexual content comes from the raunchy and clever dialogue, as well as one really funny monologue from Paul Rudd.

In a world where many adults are suffering from “Nature Deficit Disorder,” Wanderlust reminds us that sometimes one must spend time in nature and away from electronics, in order to see things in a different and often clearer way.  This is a quirky and funny movie that both young adults, as well as those who remember the hippie era and appreciate raunchy comedy, will enjoy.


Wanderlust Review by Maureen

**1/2 (out of 4)

There are two good resasons to see the latest Judd Apatow-produced raunchy comedy, Wanderlust – Paul Rudd and Jennifer Aniston.  The two veteran comedic actors play George and Linda, a married New York couple who find their lives turned upside down when they both end up unemployed and over-mortgaged.  Desperate to turn things around they head off to Atlanta, Georgia where George’s obnoxious brother, Rick (Ken Marino) and his neurotic wife, Marissa (Micheala Watkins) offer to take them in for a while.  Things don’t work out in Atlanta so Gerorge and Linda’s decision to hop in the car and see where life takes them next is an eye-opener.

Wanderlust is about taking life as it comes and being open to new, even if wild and crazy, experiences.  George and Linda’s roadtrip takes them to an off the beaten path bed and breakfast of sorts called Elysium.  Described by the unofficial leader of the residence, Seth (Justin Theroux) as an “intentional community,” Elysium is part organic farm, part nudist resort and part hippie commune.  Anything goes at Elysium, lots of peace and free-loving, lots of experience altering herbal teas, optional clothing and plenty of quirky characters.

There are some truly funny segments in Wanderlust.  The ones that work well are thanks to Paul Rudd’s talent as a comedic straight man.  He is matched by Jennifer Aniston’s appealing screen presence and good comic timing.  Much of the humour is raunchy and works well due to Rudd’s delivery.  The weak part of the film is the many overly outrageous characters at the commune.  Often over the top, some of the segments just fall flat.

Overall, the performances by Rudd and Aniston make Wanderlust an amusing comedy for adults.  Alan Alda is also fun to watch as the commune owner Carvin.  Fans of the two leads or fans of the Judd Apatow brand of raunchy humour will want to check out Wanderlust.  However this is one film that will play out just as well on DVD.


Wanderlust Review by Tony

** (out of 4)

Wanderlust is what George and Linda (Paul Rudd and Jennifer Aniston) feel after giving up their Lower Manhattan “microloft” due to George’s sudden unemployment. They head to Atlanta where George’s brother Rick (Ken Marino) and his wife Marissa (Michaela Watkins) put them up with a job in Rick’s latrine business. On the way, they stop at a purported bed and breakfast which turns out to be a commune. When Atlanta doesn’t work out for them, they decide to give the new age lifestyle a two week trial before returning to New York.

Written by David Wain and Ken Marino and directed by Wain with Judd Apatow and Paul Rudd joining them as producers, Wanderlust is very funny and crude but aside from the two main characters almost everyone in the strong cast is reduced to stereotypes. The Atlanta family, news team and developers are particularly obnoxious. The hippies are all predictably quirky, from the hirsute charismatic Seth (Justin Theroux) preaching his disdain for late 20th century technology to the naked author/vintner Wayne (Joe Lo Truglio), the slightly demented co-founder Carvin (Alan Alda) and various free-loving women (Malin Akerman, Kathryn Hahn, Kerry Kenney, Lauren Ambrose). What saves the film is how George and Linda navigate all the culture clashes, particularly during a campfire encounter session.

For those who prefer the vulgarity of Apatow films to the sincerity in their other work largely lacking here, Wanderlust promises a good time in just over an hour and a half,  not worth a trip to theatres but mildly recommended for home viewing.


Consensus: Worth a look because of the likable leading performances of Paul Rudd and Jennifer Aniston, director David Wain’s Wanderlust overcomes the weaker gags with some very funny scenes.  **1/2 (Out of 4)

No comments yet

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: