MOVIE: ** (out of 5)
BLU-RAY EXPERIENCE: ***1/2 (out of 5)
BY KEVIN CARR
“Wanderlust” was one of those films that probably looked much better on paper, and that was the best it ever looked. On paper, it does have a nice cast with great comedic actors. (I’m giving a pass on Jennifer Aniston, even though she’s downright terrible in almost anything she does, simply because the people around her in this movie are so much better.) It also has a somewhat funny premise. However, when assembled and glued together, it looks like a model airplane that has been assembled by a drunk five-year-old with plenty of parts left over.
The story follows a married couple (Paul Rudd and Jennifer Aniston) whose life in New York City has come crashing down. Both have lost their jobs, they have to sell their tiny but expensive studio apartment and move in with family to make ends meet. On the way to Atlanta, they find themselves at a commune bed and breakfast, and after getting to know the residents, they decide to make the change permanent and live at the Elysium Community.
Like a horror film directed by David S. Goyer (whose filmography includes “The Unborn” and “The Invisible”), any part of this movie is actually quite entertaining when taken as a standalone scene. There are plenty of hilarious moments in the film, in particular one involving Paul Rudd getting ramped up for sex and having the strangest conversation with himself in the mirror. However, when strung together, it loses something.
“Wanderlust” has some great lines and is overall funny. However, it’s just a terrible story with poor execution. In a strange way, it feels like the script was highly improvised (which might actually be the case when it is compared to the alternate versions available on the Blu-ray), but never given an overall vision.
I can’t say that I actually liked “Wanderlust,” but I also can’t say that I hated it. I enjoyed watching it, but it felt empty in many moments. Perhaps if I ran into it on television on a lazy Saturday afternoon, I might watch it again… but probably not.
The “Wanderlust” Blu-ray includes some neat bonus content. Standard features include a gag reel, an alternate line-o-rama and a the short “God Afton! Behind the Scenes of Wanderlust.” There’s also an episode of director avid Wain’s “Wainy Days,” which brings him to the Elysium community. Finally, the filmmakers have assembled “The Bizarro Cut!” which is the entire film re-cut with alternate takes and lines. It’s not exactly a coherent version of the film, but it’s neat to watch, nonetheless, if you’ve already seen it.