‘Wanderlust,’ reviewed by Marshall Fine


You know that feeling when a comedy has just elicited an unexpected howl of laughter from you? The kind that has you momentarily breathless from the sheer pleasurable violence of it?

Well, that’s not something you’ll experience while watching David Wain’s “Wanderlust,” a movie that really wants to make you laugh but very seldom succeeds. At its best, it is funny in a smile-and-nod-appreciatively kind of way. It is only rarely laugh-out-loud funny.

The comic mindset of writer-director Wain and his collaborator, Ken Marino, could be considered a concentric circle with that of Judd Apatow, who was a producer on this film. But the Wain-Marino playbook is a mix of crudely embarrassing moments and scenes of outrageous, if not necessarily inspired, silliness.

Paul Rudd and Jennifer Aniston play George and Linda, who decide to escape from New York when he loses his job after they’ve sunk everything into a West Village studio apartment (“A micro-loft,” corrects the wonderfully dry Linda Lavin, as their realtor). They head for Atlanta, where his moronic and crude brother (Marino) runs a porta-potty business and offers to put him to work.

This review continues on my website.

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