Directed by David Wain (Role Models) and produced by Judd Apatow, Wanderlust isn’t so much of a poor film as a rather dull affair. Its premise, that of a career-driven couple forced to revaluate their life after staying at a hippie commune, is hardly original nor particularly thought-provoking. Its lack of originality wouldn’t be so crucial if it were not for the utter lack of successful execution: poorly paced, and with numerous comedic misfiring, Wanderlust simply drags.
George (Paul Rudd) and Linda (Jennifer Aniston) live a high-powered, stressful life in New York. After purchasing their first, very small, very expensive apartment, George finds himself without a job, whilst Linda’s latest flight of fancy – working as a documentary filmmaker – fails when her effort is rejected by HBO. With little options available to them, the pair travels to Atlanta, staying with George’s obnoxious, frequently offensive older brother. En route, the pair stop at a bed and breakfast named Elysium. Enraptured by the blissful night they enjoy with the various inhabitants of the hotel, the pair quickly retreats to it after running into difficulties with George’s brother.
Much of the film deals with the couple’s conversion to this new style of living, detailing their coping with the new lack of privacy or personal possessions. This is, presumably, where the moments of promised comedy should lie. The film’s reliance on simply-drawn stereotypes fails to offer anything particularly new, exciting, or indeed funny.
Unfortunately, the film fails to truly deliver on this promise, certainly there are one or two moments that provide light mirth, but not enough to make the film worthwhile. Aniston simply further proves her ability to remain utterly one-note in almost every performance she delivers, whilst the perpetually under-rated Paul Rudd is not provided with the material that previous Apatow-produced films have given to him.
Wanderlust is quite simply another mediocre, run-of-the-mill film to add to Jennifer Aniston’s increasingly lacklustre CV.