There are so many good ideas presented in the film Wanderlust, but unfortunately, not many of them come to fruition.
Starting off with a good cast, Paul Rudd and Jennifer Aniston make a pretty decent team, they never seem to really get off the ground. Both actors, especially Rudd, have good comedic timing and talent, but it isn’t used as often as it could be here. Rudd definitely gets the best parts, especially as he prepares to engage in a newly opened relationship. This gives him the chance to do what he does best, which is basically just rant off a bunch of lines in increasing silliness and grossness. Which is hilarious. But there isn’t enough of those kind of laughs in this film.
The story itself has some potential as well. A New York couple, fresh off buying their first studio apartment, come across hard times with the loss of a job and a failed documentary. They are forced to sell quickly and head to Atlanta to stay with Rudd’s brother.
On their way, they stop at a hippy commune named Elysium. Here, they discover things about themselves that they had never known before. They found freedom, and a life away from the city that they had never understood. With no pressure and the ability to do anything, it of course falls apart.
Where Wanderlust fails is that they could be making a large commentary on the rat race that so many of us engage in, and the need that we have to truly be free of the shackles of jobs and relationships. But they don’t really say that. It is very superficial in that sense. There is more to be said here, and it could have been done with more depth, intelligence, and passion. The film lacks all of these things, which is too bad.
The hippies at the commune are nothing special, either. The characters aren’t as eclectic as they could have been, and there were more missed opportunities for laughs with them.
Very much like many of the characters in the film, it all felt a little bit too hollow. Fairly disappointing, to be honest. I had expected so much more from this movie, especially since it was more of an independent feature, giving it more credibility.
I’d keep scrolling through Netflix, and skip Wanderlust.