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David Wain’s film Wanderlust is a comedy that features a typical setup of urban dwellers who escape to a rural area to relieve tensions from their past lives. In this movie Paul Rudd and Jennifer Aniston act as couple, George and Linda respectively. The couple is forced to move from their West Village residence in the expensive New York City. This is after George loses his corporate job due to corruption allegations. Linda, his wife, cannot support their family from her meager earnings, especially after her documentary has been disapproved; therefore, they flee to Atlanta to look for a less pressured, slower paced lifestyle. George’s brother Marino, who runs a successful Portal-Potty company, accepts to accommodate them and even offers to employ them.
On their way to Atlanta, the couple stops at a countryside lodge for breakfast that happens to be the Elysium community. The community is rather interesting as it advocates for peace, beverages prepared from twigs, and free love; Justin Theroux plays as the one in charge of the community. Alan Alda plays the role of an aging person who is known to be the founder of the Kool-Aid dispenser at Elysium. The lifestyle in Elysium changes the personalities of these new visitors who at first are adamant to change. Their prowess in acting is very evident in this part due to their unexpected change of character in a rather humorous way. People easily survive without worrying about necessities like money, clothes, and having a job; they soon get used to life and this becomes their temporary home.
Life becomes unbearable at Marino’s house, his brother and his wife Michaela Watkins are thoroughly offensive and their insults seem to be never-ending. They can barely stand to be close to each other for even a single moment. George longs for the life at Elysium, which they first came across on their way South, and even opts to go back there. They cannot bare life at the mansion any longer and then they decide to go back to Elysium and plead to be welcomed back to this rather careless and aimless life. They are ready to discard their hectic rat-race way of life and embrace the standards of the hippie living in Elysium. This movie is kept afloat by the cast of despicable but quite supporting characters. The individual aptitude of the entire cast comprises a watchable ensemble, making the scenes slightly amusing.
Nevertheless, the comedy has been hugely criticized as being a crude film. Though it’s quite intriguing at the beginning, its end does not consign to any specific viewpoint. It is unfortunate that the funniest bits of the movie are found in the trailer and commercials. Love, hippie jokes, bathroom jokes, a nude guy running all over is a bit outdated; critics feel that this shows desperation of the film makers to make a comedy and that this film is rather embarrassing and humorless. Some have described it as seldom laughable. It has been compared to the film by Albert Brooks, Lost in America. It has the same storyline about disappointment, ambition and beseeching to be allowed back to a former residence. Generally, in this comedy there is a lot of irregularity; this results to inappropriate responses to different situations and the jokes appear not to be funny. However, the relationship of George and Linda is the backbone of the film and the certainty that their characters are really amiable and almost pitch perfect in their marital roles, makes the movie more rated as a date movie than a comedy.