Wanderlust is all over the place. It is like a roller coaster twisting between the absurd and the predictable. It works best when it is exploring the multiple zany characters that exist in David Wain’s (Wet Hot American Summer, Role Models) world.
The film focuses on two uptight/unemployed New Yorker’s who start living in an intentional community (AKA Hippie Commune). The residents are all kooky and the concept of doors is nonexistent to them.
The movie doesn’t work when it is exploring whether or not Rudd and Aniston should be monogamous amidst the hippies. The plot goes off course and delivers 20 minutes of Paul Rudd improvisation. Normally, I’m all for Ruddisms but it seemed to slow the plot.
You love the crazy characters that exist in Wain’s films. This movie doesn’t disappoint. Ken Marino and his wife Michaela Watkins steal the show as Rudd’s brother and sister-in-law. Their house is an example of perfect set decoration. It is full of DVDs, Televisions, BBQs and Margarita mixers. You can tell Marino wrote the script because his character gets the best moments in the film.
The reason to watch this film is for the little character moments. Whether they are driving cars into ponds, writing books about Washington D.C. or hating Paul Rudd’s guitar solos. However, The overall plot is extremely thin and predictable to a fault. When it sticks too closely to the familiar it loses the unique charm of a Wain joint.
I am a big time David Wain fan. Wet Hot is a miracle of randomness and Role Models created a rare blend of funny and likable characters amidst a world of larking (fake medieval warfare).
This film shows he is more confident behind the camera but it also proves he needs a few more films to blend the random with the normal.
Watch Wanderlust. Dig the characters. Learn that it is easy to get your car in a lake.