Starring: Paul Rudd, Jennifer Aniston, Justin Theroux
Director: David Wain
Running Time: 98 mins
Wanderlust is an American film about a New York couple who lose all their money, and so decide to move to a free love commune outside the city.
With an A-list cast thrown into a fairly bonkers scenario, Wanderlust has all the ingredients of a thoroughly enjoyable Hollywood comedy. And while it’s certainly an entertaining watch, the film arguably lacks the big laughs it’s aiming for, often exchanging them for frustrating and even annoying plot twists and character traits throughout.
For the most part, Wanderlust is a fairly lightweight watch that brings a little bit of slapstick, a little bit of romance and a little bit of cringe comedy together to tell its story. There is a more serious story about the strength of relationships and willpower to be heard, but for the most part the film’s main charm is its comedy.
And while I can’t say that I was rolling on the floor laughing at Wanderlust, I will say that its generally light-hearted atmosphere made it a pleasant watch. Paul Rudd and Jennifer Aniston give likable performances alongside one another, and do throw themselves into some of the film’s sillier scenes, which are more often than not the funniest of all.
There’s a part of me that wishes they’d gone the whole hog with this film and done something a little more off-the-wall, because it does manage to provide bigger laughs with those more ludicrous gags, but what’s ultimately a little frustrating about Wanderlust is that it tries to blend its humour with its story in a rather clumsy and often irritating way.
Following a couple who move to a free love commune after losing all their money, the movie plots the ups and downs of their relationship against some of what it intends to be the funniest jokes and twists of all.
For the most part, however, the decisions that some of the characters make (and the presence of some of the side characters) are more annoying than ever particularly funny, with a frustrating back-and-forth between Rudd and Aniston staying in or leaving the commune proving more exhausting than a rollicking bit of fun.
There are times when the film does try to make its most annoying characters deliberately so for laughs (particularly with Justin Theroux), but the messier plot and relative lack of big, laugh-out-loud gags means that it’s difficult to really have a huge amount of fun with Wanderlust, and that’s why I’m giving it a 7.2 overall.