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Wanderlust: Don't call it a commune



Young New York marrieds Paul Rudd and Jennifer Aniston find themselves out of their element in David Wain’s new comedy “Wanderlust”. David Wain is best known for his work on the 90’s MTV sketch comedy show “The State” and has since parlayed his sense of humor to film projects (“Wet Hot American Summer”, “The Ten”, and “Role Models”) as well as other television work (Comedy Central’s short lived “Stella”). Fans of Wain’s work will find “Wanderlust” a modest comedy eliciting chuckles instead of outright belly laughs.

Alternate movie poster for David Wain's "Wanderlust".

Rudd is an up and comer at a New York business firm and Aniston is trying to sell her new documentary to HBO. Everything looks bright and so they by a studio apartment (or as their realtor insists micro-loft) in the heart of the city. All of a sudden Rudd finds himself out of a job and Aniston’s documentary is found by HBO to be too depressing (it's about penguins with testicular cancer). They go out to Rudd’s jerky brother’s (Ken Marino) place to try to get work there. Along the way they find an out of the way bed and breakfast called Elysium. They soon find that it’s on the grounds of a commune, or as one of the characters corrects them “intentional community” (because commune sounds too hippy-ish) and fall in love with it.

They then find themselves on the road to the brothers place for the job opportunity. The opportunity doesn't work out and end up back at Elysium and decide to give it a try to see if they want to stay permanently. The characters at Elysium range from goofy and funny to odd and just annoying. A little bit of some of these inhabitants go a long way. It’s essentially the old story of the city mouse and country mouse for the Woodstock generation. The supporting cast is generally good including Alan Alda as a hippie burnout and owner of Elysium. Lots of “State” regulars appear like Kerri Kenney-Silver, Michael Showalter, Michael Ian Black, Ken Marino and Joe Lo Truglio (as the resident nudist who wants to be an author).

“Wanderlust” is a funny movie, just not funny enough to rush right out and see. Most of the laughs are muted. Some scenes try way too hard and strain to get laughs. The cast is good and the film is overall pleasant and it has a nice wrap up. If you do go, stay through the end credits for a nice little surprise. “Wanderlust” is not a bad film but it’s definitely not as funny as the comic pedigree of the cast and director bring with them.

Bottom Line: “Wanderlust” would make a great rental or a movie to see at a matinee. It’s a cute film with modest laughs and is mostly forgettable.