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Wanderlust

By AARON MESH
The Apatow dirty-improv era has yielded two directors who are, if not auteurs, at least distinctive comedic sensibilities. One is Adam McKay (Anchorman, Step Brothers). The other is David Wain (Wet Hot American Summer, Role Models). McKay's hallmark is the non sequitur; Wain specializes in a joke repeated so often it becomes a ritual. (No surprise that his own paragons are from the Catskills.) Wain's absurdist litany is in fine effect in Wanderlust, a surprisingly frisky winter diversion that reunites most of the Wet Hot cast for another campout—this time at a hippie commune outside Atlanta. Leftist pieties get an affectionate skewering (this is the movie to see after an Occupy Portland G.A.), but then every form of moral posturing does: The very best bits feature co-writer Ken Marino as a khaki-clad Joe the Plumber manqué barely masking his racism and rage with backslapping humor. Jennifer Aniston is game and lithe as she adjusts to "intentional living," but the movie belongs to Paul Rudd, a perpetually likable actor who here finds depths of priggishness and insecurity he's never displayed before. He gives himself a mock-macho pep talk in front of a mirror as breathtakingly plastic as his epic lunchroom sulk in Wet Hot American Summer. He should work with Wain again and again and again.
 
  • Genres: Comedy
  • Running Time: 98 minutes
  • Release Date: Friday, February 24, 2012
  • Country: United States
  • Language: English
  • MPAA Rating: R [ Drug Use, Graphic Nudity, Language, Sexual Content ]
  • Critic's Score: 74
  • Starring: Paul Rudd [George], Jennifer Aniston [Linda], Justin Theroux [Seth], Malin Akerman [Eva], Kathryn Hahn [Karen], Lauren Ambrose [Almond], Ken Marino [Rick], Joe Lo Truglio [Wayne], Kerri Kenney-Silver [Kathy], Alan Alda [Carvin], Jordan Peele [Rodney], Michaela Watkins [Marisa], Linda Lavin [Shari], Jessica St. Clair [Deena Schuster], Todd Barry [Sherm], Martin Thompson [Dale], Ian Patrick [Grisham], John D'Leo [Tanner]
  • Directed by: David Wain [Director], Ken Marino [Screenwriter], David Wain [Screenwriter], Judd Apatow [Producer], Ken Marino [Producer], Paul Rudd [Producer], David Wain [Producer], Richard Vane [Executive Producer], Michael Bonvillain [Cinematographer], Aaron Osborne [Production Design], David Moritz [Film Editor], Robert Nassau [Film Editor], Craig Wedren [Original Music], Debra McGuire [Costume Designer], Susie Farris [Casting], Erin Cochran [Art Director], Jennifer Gentile [Set Decoration]
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