Paul Rudd and Jennifer Aniston star in this pleasantly weird refresh of Albert Brooks’ Lost In America, written by David Wain and Ken Marino, directed by Wain. These guys have worked together on far edgier stuff, like Wet Hot American Summer or The Ten, but this one is more of a comedy aimed at the mainstream, like Role Models. And like that film, it has some pleasant surprises but we always pretty much know where it is going. Rudd and Aniston are winning and believable as a couple at loose ends after the economic downturn forces them to move out of their New York apartment. Marino is gleeful as Rudd’s asshole brother, so intolerable that they take refuge in an “intentional community” (ie., commune) instead.
The commune is led by a charismatic man who wants Aniston for himself (Justin Theroux, typecast) and populated by a variety of good supporting actors. Meanwhile, local attorney Jim Stansel (you know Jim?) wants to acquire the commune’s land and build a casino. When the hippies protest a groundbreaking ceremony, the local news coverage is anchored by David Wain, Michael Ian Black, and Michael Showalter in a scene that is worth the price of admission alone.
So, I enjoyed Wanderlust well enough, much like I did Role Models, but I still prefer the really out-there stuff that Wain, Marino, and the rest of the alumni from The State get up to. Speaking of, you really need to check out Marino’s web series Burning Love, a sendup of The Bachelor that features several of his Wanderlust co-stars. It’s the funniest thing I have seen in a little while.