Director David Wain‘s brand of humor isn’t one that tickles everyone’s fancy. It’s particular and for those that like it they’ll be glad to know that Wanderlust delivers. Everyone else might find the film to be a bit too weird, with most of the comedy falling flat, even though there’s some really good material on hand thanks to the script, which was co-written by Wain and Ken Marino. Wanderlust isn’t just another Paul Rudd comedy; it’s actually another David Wain/Paul Rudd collaboration, with other frequents like Marino and Joe Lo Truglio.
George (Paul Rudd) and Linda (Jennifer Aniston) want something different. They’re tired of living the busy life in New York and have realized that owning a micro loft just isn’t their definition of living the dream. They stumble into a hippie commune after George loses his job and Linda blows her shot with HBO.
The two initially make fun of the idea of a commune, full of bearded weirdo’s and nudists, but slowly it grows on them. The simple life can have its benefits, like sharing everything with everyone and never judging each other. It’s something that the two desperately need, because their current relationship is struggling. The two are having troubles expressing their feelings and emotions with each other, which makes the commune a blessing in disguise.
Paradise is never as good as it seems though. Slowly, George starts to lose that original charm and welcome, while Linda falls deeper into the rabbit hole of love, laughter and peace. Wanderlust isn’t like your ordinary studio comedies; in fact it’s the complete opposite. The jokes are R-rated, but mostly good-natured and tame. The characters are mostly all likable, with one revealing himself as the bad egg.
It’s another Wain comedy, with an extra dose of wang (provided by Joe Lo Truglio). I can see where most thought this film lacked in humor, because most of the jokes don’t make you fall out of your chair. Some of the more bizarre stuff might get you, but most of the jokes are subtle and stuff that only Wain fans would appreciate.
Paul Rudd and David Wain have worked together before, which makes Rudd the strongest character. He knows how Wain’s comedy works and Wain knows how Rudd is as an actor. The two are perfect for each other and Wanderlust gives us some of the best Paul Rudd randomness yet.
Jennifer Aniston struggles a little more with the material, but she’s no stranger to comedy and she mostly makes the role work, despite not having the best second or third act. Her character becomes something of an afterthought, which doesn’t feel like the film’s intention.
The ensemble cast is what really makes Wanderlust exceed in the hilarity department. Justin Theroux, Malin Akerman and Alan Alda breathe life into their scenes, while never going too overboard (well, maybe Theroux does at times, but within reason).
Wanderlust is still a slightly above average comedy. It’s funny, but not memorable or worth repeat viewings. I’ve seen the film twice now and I think that’ll be it. I don’t really see the need to revisit this one for a while and that’s not the reaction a great comedy should leave you with.
The film comes to Blu-Ray with a 1080p video transfer that picks up the hot summer heat softly, with occasional sharp detail. Colors aren’t completely ruined and detail is never a big issue, but the overall feel of the transfer is soft, warm and relaxed.
The 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio track seems to be following the same code, with most of the energy on the front channels. The back channels are reserved for music and the occasional wilderness call. The track is soothing and efficient.
Here’s a list of the special features:
- Audio Commentary
- Wanderlust: The Bizarro Cut (HD)
- God Afton! Behind the Scenes of Wanderlust (HD)
- Penis Envy (HD)
- Line-O-Rama (HD)
- Wainy Days: Elysium (HD)
- The Elysium Campaign (HD)
- Gag Reel (HD)
- Theatrical Trailer (HD)
- DVD Copy
- Digital Copy
- UltraViolet Digital Copy
Picking up Wanderlust on Blu-Ray really depends on how much you’ve liked previous Wain stuff, especially with Ken Marino. The two know how to make a specific brand of comedy work. Paul Rudd is great, but I don’t want people to get the impression that this is just another Rudd comedy, because it’s not. It’s more of Wain’s show, with Rudd helping to make the jokes stick. He’s the topped billed actor, but he’s working off of Wain/Marino material and that’s what makes Wanderlust something of an oddball.
I don’t see how Wanderlust could disappoint as a rental, but I’d hold off from purchasing until you know for sure that the comedy speaks your language. If it does then you’ll want to purchase this disc, because the “Bizarro Cut” is even sillier than the theatrical cut, plus the extras aren’t too skimpy, which makes this package well-rounded for the fans.
There's a lot to love in Wanderlust, but it's a film geared towards a very specific crowd. Fans of director David Wain and star/co-writer Ken Marino will find more than enough to like in the film, but those going in this strictly for Paul Rudd might want to tone down the expectations a notch.