Grae Drake
Wanderlust Review

Grae's Rating:


Hemp hemp hooray!

George (Paul Rudd) and Linda (Jennifer Aniston) are exhausted from keeping up with the Joneses. They're weighed down with their iPads and business suits and lattes, and finally reach a breaking point when George loses his job. Despite looking like a million bucks, they're part of the 99% and are barely making ends meet, so they decide to say goodbye to The Big Apple and see what lies beyond.

Apparently, outside the cold, heartless city lies both naked hippies with an affinity for the peace pipe as well as poor suburban slobs who are miserable jerks. Such is the one-note nature of the joke in this film. Anyone who paid attention to the Occupy protests knows that it is much more entertaining to paint pictures with broad strokes, so that comprises most of the film. The good news is that the uber-talented cast and crew give it their all and turn it into a palatable experience (at least until the third act, but by then you've probably drunk the Hilarity Kool Aid so you barely notice).

Everyone involved in the movie has a resume about a mile long of projects that you either thought were brilliant or super annoying. Don't bother if you're the latter group, because this is more of the same. Director David Wain has worked on Children's Hospital, Wet Hot American Summer and The State, all of which are known more for their absurdist humor than their coherence. The last film he did with Paul Rudd, Role Models, was a rare gem in the collection, because it deftly balanced humanity with humor, and this is a continuation of that. If only it hadn't all been "hippies playing the drum" jokes it might have been really touching.

As their time in the "intentional community" continues, George isn't so sure he wants to live awakened every morning by the sound of a naked guy stomping grapes. As you can guess, Linda feels much more at home than he does, possibly because the group leader Seth (Justin Theroux) really likes the way she plays a didgeridoo. Their chemistry on and off the screen isn't unique, though--the best part about Wain's projects is how everyone seems like they're having a great time, which makes it easier to be forgiving whenever the movie gets a little creaky. When the credits roll, you'll want to shed your loafers and skinny dip.


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