'Wanderlust': The real first sign of spring?
Friends, it’s February. And how.
When it comes to going to the movies, this time of year is traditionally a gloomy time — spiritually, anyway. We’re in that odd gray zone that falls between the prestige projects of fall, the big gleaming affairs that come down around Christmas, and the exploding robots/superheroes of summer. I won’t name names, but I think everyone here knows the kind of clunker I’m talking about.
Which makes Wanderlust an almost miraculous bright spot (and no, we’re not talking about the Jennifer Aniston nudity). As EW critic Lisa Schwarzbaum, (who gave the film a rating of A-), notes, David Wain and Paul Rudd have done their fair share of “inspired nutso stuff” in previous collaborations like Wet Hot American Summer and Role Models. But Wanderlust sort of takes things up a notch when George (Rudd) and Linda (Aniston), dyed-in-the-wool Manhattanites, are priced out of the city, and through a couple of wrong turns, end up on a hippie-dippy commune.
This movie is not just funny, it’s fun. Aniston and Rudd have a history of terrific chemistry — I can’t be the only fan of 1998’s The Object of My Affection, right? — and here they are even better. Aniston hasn’t seemed so relaxed and hilarious and just straight up likeable since who-knows-when (and this is coming from The Switch‘s number one supporter). Could it be because of her much buzzed-over romance with co-star Justin Theroux, who, by the way, manages to steal almost every scene as the commune’s resident lothario? Maybe. Is it because the script is silly and not a soul on screen takes themselves too seriously? Perhaps. Is it because Alan Alda shows up (remember he too was in The Object of My Affection!)? Could be.
Regardless, Wanderlust is not a gift horse one should look in the mouth (David Wain would probably have fun with that one), and maybe best of all, it’s the first reminder that sunnier days are just around the corner.