The hippy-dippy fakes
HOLLYWOOD KNOWS your pain. That’s why Wanderlust casts Jennifer Aniston and Paul Rudd as hip young Manhattanites with a micro-loft and macro-negative equity.
Broke and bickering, the couple is reduced to relocating to Atlantic City, where he finds employment at his thuggish older brother’s Portaloo business. Might there be a better way? Might life not be easier in a Georgia commune peopled by dropouts, vegans and nudists?
There’s a decent comedy to be built around stressed-out yuppies embracing the extremities of the mind, body and spirit continuum. Unhappily, Wanderlust, a halfarsed comedy that proves just as shaggy and ramshackle as the folks it seeks to satirise, is not that movie.
Sure, there’s amusement to be had around the margins with Alan Alda’s accidental guru and Lauren Ambrose’s dotty flower child. But for most of the duration the film is just not funny enough or, indeed, funny at all.
The underdeveloped hippie cast makes you think of lesser Mike Myers offerings, The Love Guru and The Cat in the Hat. The jokes generally recall Hollywood’s 1960s attempts to get down with the counterculture, such as I Love You, Alice B. Toklas and The Guru. What’s that, Malin Akerman? You want free love? What’s that, Bob Hope? You want your free love gags back?
One sequence featuring Rudd practising his profane seduction technique drags on for a purgatorial duration. The bit doesn’t get any better with torturous repetition. Who knew?
David Wain, the director behind Role Models and Wet Hot American Summer, brings a puerile, pottymouthed flair to this lacklustre Apatow production. Aniston and Rudd, despite the erratic script, reprise previous Aniston and Rudd pairings from Friends and The Object of My Affection with aplomb.
But even before the maddeningly smug faux-bohemian denouement, we’ve turned off and tuned out. Bummer.
The big chill-out: Paul Rudd, Jennifer Aniston, Justin Theroux, Malin Akerman discover their inner flower childs in Wanderlust Directed by David Wain. Starring Paul Rudd, Jennifer Aniston, Justin Theroux, Ken Marino, Malin Akerman, Lauren Ambrose, Alan Alda