Starting with Anchorman in 2004, Judd Apatow’s production company has released a string of comedy hits including Bridesmaids and Talladega Nights. 2012 saw Apatow suffer a commercial flop for the first time in Wanderlust. Reuniting a host of Apatow regulars, Wanderlust is a fish out of water road trip comedy that failed to even make its money back during its box office run.
Urban couple George (Paul Rudd) and Linda (Jennifer Aniston) buy a micro-loft in New York, unfortunately this coincides with George losing his job and Linda failing to have her TV show concept being picked up by HBO. In an attempt to get their lives back on track they go to visit George’s brother Rick. On their journey they stumble upon Elysium Camp Site, an open-minded commune that challenges them to push the boundaries of their uptight lifestyle.
Rudd and Aniston, reunited after a stint together on hit TV show Friends, share an easy and likeable chemistry. But Wanderlust‘s greatest strength is its supporting cast, with good performances from Alan Alda and Malin Ackerman especially. Unfortunately it suffers from a trend in modern comedies of simply squandering its talent. High-concept setups like a free-love commune are rife for sendup, yet Wanderlust fails on so many occasions to even raise a smile. Not only that, but the usually solid staple of Apatow comedies, the improvised situation falls flat.
Wanderlust through a mix of stellar comedic cast and some humourous moments and assured direction manages to avoid complete comedy disaster. Unfortunately it’s not nearly as funny as it should be and suffers from a skewed morality, that criticises all approaches to life rather than celebrating them.