SYNOPSIS: George and Linda are a stressed out Manhattan couple. When George loses his job the only option they are left with is to move in with George's awful brother in Atlanta. On-route to Atlanta they stumble upon Elysium, an idyllic community who embrace a different way of life. Is this the fresh start they need or will Elysium cause more problems than it solves?
Everyone needs a little downtime once in a while. The pressurizing worklife, mounting mortgage and car loan, relationship problems etc can be a killer.
Thus in the case of New York couple, George (Paul Rudd) and Linda (Jennifer Aniston) who have problem servicing their house loan after Paul faced a job loss and Linda has her documentary about testicular cancer in penguins rejected by HBO, the couple decides to move into a free-wheeling commune called Elysium for a change of pacing. Facing issues such as ‘free love’, rooms without doors, going vegan and a threatening resident by the name of Seth (Aniston’s real-life beau, Justin Theroux), will the two city dwellers survive the ordeal?
Produced by Judd Apatow (The 40 Year Old Virgin) and directed/co-written by David Wain (Role Models), “Wanderlust” is an uneven piece of goofball humour that is watchable all thanks to a bunch of likeable cast. Bit actor Joe Lo Truglio is a hoot as a nudist fully equipped with a prosthetic dangling manhood. Elysium's amnesia owner Carvin is played by the great Alan Alda (Tower Heist). The almost unrecognizable Justin Theroux hams it up as the resident leader who is not exactly a practitioner of what he teaches. But nothing compares to the chemistry between Paul Rudd and Jennifer Aniston. Rudd always the underrated comedian is perfect as the sweet loser, check out his dirty talk scene and you know this guy is a genius. Aniston who plays against type in last year’s “Horrible Bosses” is back as everyone’s favourite American sweetheart. She has little to shine here though the “Friends” actress is hard to resist opposite Rudd.
For a comedy, “Wanderlust” lacks the big laughs to make it work in fact the occasional sex jokes and references have become the norm in a comedy these days that you probably won’t find any fresh lines around here. The social commentary and satires which the filmmakers tried to concoct seem to be buried under Theroux’s thick beard and the gags such as a screaming Kathryn Hahn playing one of the residents and writer/producer Ken Marino as George’s uncouth brother sadly becomes repetitive as the movie goes. Yet the sporadic funny skits set up enough charming, engaging exchanges to make you forgive Wain’s lazy scribing. Look out for a unexpected hilarious cameo by regular big-screen baddie Ray Liotta before the ending credits.
“Wanderlust” is not a robust, strong comedic title and fairs more of a hit-and-miss despite the talents involved. Like I mentioned, it works because of a tremendously wacky cast and yes, the incredibly talented Mr Paul Rudd.
“Wanderlust” boasts a sharp and clean video transfer with brimming colours and detailed images. Dialog is clear and the Dolby Digital 5.1 is more than serviceable for a comedy genre.
DVD RATING :
Review by Linus Tee