Film Review: Wanderlust

Light on narrative, but with substantial laughs, Wanderlust is an entertaining 98 minutes. It is surprising that the film performed poorly on its opening weekend at the US box office, as it is enjoyable enough.

After buying a small but expensive apartment in New York, George and Linda’s financial situation changes. Forced to move to Altanta to stay with George’s brother, the couple stumble across a commune on their journey. The alternative lifestyle could offer a solution to George and Linda’s housing problem…

Directed and co-written by David Wain, Wanderlust begins well; the opening sequence is a good set up for the rest of the film. The premise of the movie is a simple one, although there are some amusing sidelines. Wanderlust offers few real surprises, but the selling point is not its originality.

Wanderlust‘s lack of pretensions is definitely a positive. The film only enters a more serious territory on a few occasions. The emphasis lies firmly on making viewers laugh, rather than on any more deeper meaning. There are moments in the film where director Wain pushes a joke to its extreme. This results in some cringing, although humour is always retained.

The film has a streak of randomness that runs throughout. This works well as another layer to the humour. Episodes such as the brief appearance of George’s nephew add little to the overall narrative but are successful in providing amusement. The script capitalises on these unusual moments.

Performances by the two leads are fine. Paul Rudd in particular seems happy to play the fool, while Jennifer Aniston appears slightly less game. As Seth, Justin Theroux is a bit of a scene stealer. This role, as well as  Theroux’s high-profile romance with co-star Aniston, should see the actorincreasingly feature in Hollywood’s output.

Wanderlust is sometimes crass, but this is hardly surprising given Judd Apatow’s involvement. Nevertheless, it is an amusing comedy for those looking for some mindless fun.