Paul Rudd and Jennifer Aniston are the kind of couple that just naturally exude charm. They’re like Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan – except without the successful track record.
Having previously worked together in “The Object Of My Affection” and the TV show “Friends,” I knew they could certainly play off one another well. But can charm alone carry a 90-minute film?
Rudd and Aniston play George and Linda, a Manhattan couple who find themselves staying at a rural commune called Elysium, which is filled with colorful residents.
“Wanderlust” is nothing if not amusing. Actual laugh-out-loud jokes were few and far between, but I guess that’s not all that surprising considering that the jokes stay in familiar territory.
We have the obligatory hallucinogens scene, trust circles, skinny-dipping and people who say things like, “I drink in the nourishment that Mother Earth gives us from her cloud teats.”
This exclamation is made by the leader of Elysium, Seth (played by Aniston’s boyfriend, Justin Theroux). He has long hair and a beard. He also clearly has a thing for Linda. Don’t forget, it’s all about free love at Elysium.
The film’s lifeline is the zany supporting cast, which includes comical performances from Alan Alda, Kathryn Hahn and Lauren Ambrose. Rudd, who always delivers in the comedy department, is certainly one of the best parts of “Wanderlust.”
However, there are moments when it seems like he’s trying to mash together his roles from “Our Idiot Brother” and “I Love You, Man” into one, which was all too evident in one painful scene where he gets the most obnoxious case of verbal diarrhea imaginable.
The first half of the movie breezed by, just in time for the second half to drag on enough for me to inevitably think to myself, “Where is all this going?”
By the end, I couldn’t tell if I was supposed to be digging the mellow lifestyle or if I was supposed to be the voice of reason that the characters would never hear.