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Movie review: ‘Wanderlust’ gets its laughs on the side

Paul Rudd and Jennifer Aniston in "Wanderlust."

By Sean P. Means

The Salt Lake Tribune

First published Feb 23 2012 03:56PM
Updated May 30, 2012 11:13AM

The ribald comedy "Wanderlust" has enough throwaway jokes to overwhelm a landfill, though after a while it’s clear that director David Wain ("Role Models," "Wet Hot American Summer") would rather toss out the main story and keep rolling with the side characters.

Stressed-out New York married couple George (Paul Rudd) and Linda (Jennifer Aniston) fall on hard times, and are forced to move to Atlanta to live with George’s boorish brother Rick (Ken Marino, who wrote the script with Wain). En route, George and Linda come upon a bed-and-breakfast that’s actually an "intentional community" — a commune, populated by free-spirited hippies led by the charismatic Seth (played by Aniston’s real-life squeeze, Justin Theroux). George and Linda argue about whether to live among the oddballs or return to the rat race.

Wain is clearly more interested in having fun with his troupe of comic actors, including the closest thing we’ll ever have to a reunion of Wain’s seminal sketch-comedy show "The State." (Aside from Marino, former "State" players Kerri Kenney-Silver and Joe Lo Trugio have prominent roles, and there’s an extended bit where Wain appears with his "The State" and "Stella" cohorts Michael Showalter and Michael Ian Black.)

Rudd has his moments, particularly in his awkward advances toward a free-love hottie (Malin Akerman), but otherwise the leads are just a diversion from the off-the-wall humor.

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