Wanderlust (USA) Directed by David Wain written by David Wain; Ken Marino Starring Jennifer Aniston; Paul Rudd; Justin Theroux; Malin Akerman; Alan Alda; Linda Lavin; Ken Marino; Kathryn Hahn; Michaela Watson; Lauren Ambrose; Kerri Kenney; Jordan Peele; Jessica St. Clair; Keegan Michael Key; Todd Barry; Jo Lo Truglio;
Directed by David Wain, who co-wrote the script with Ken Marino, the film is another product of the partnership between these two original The State comedy troupe members, who along with Michael Ian Black, Thomas Lennon, Michael Showalter and others, have been responsible for films like Wet Hot American Summer; The Baxter; and The Ten, along with a variety of television projects (The State; Reno 911; Stella; and Children’s Hospital). The well-honed improvisational feel is omni-present and there are a number of very funny bits. Actors like Jennifer Aniston and Justin Theroux, who bounce between comedic and more dramatic roles, but do not come from this background, are integrated well, and seem to be enjoying themselves. Though as was widely reported, the world was denied the pleasure of seeing Ms. Aniston topless (the scene was shot but sanitized), she and Paul Rudd are fine as a couple who are priced out of living in New York City (think Lost in America) and find themselves residing on a commune with a qausi-cult leader (Theroux). Rudd excels at these kinds of roles and there are some particularly funny scenarios utilizing his facility with social awkwardness. As would be expected, many of the original members of The State appear (Showalter; Black; Wain himself; Kerry Kenney; and Joe Lo Truglio), and they are mixed with an eclectic group of supporting players such as Malin Akerman; Kathryn Hahn; Alan Alda; and Lauren Ambrose. As is almost always the case in films of the type, not all of the bits are winners, and there is no mistaking the flimsiness to the plot, but Aniston and Rudd are appealing enough to keep it afloat, and the talent they are surrounded with consistently overcomes whatever weaknesses are present in a story that is strictly by the book. Nothing surprising perhaps, but a solid comedy with its fair share of laughs.