Wanderlust

 

Directed by David Wain. Starring Paul Rudd, Jennifer Aniston, Justin Theroux, Ken Marino, Malin Akerman, Lauren Ambrose, Alan Alda 16 cert, general release, 98 mins

HOLLYWOOD KNOWS your pain. That’s why Wanderlustcasts Jennifer Aniston and Paul Rudd as hip young Manhattanites with a micro-loft and macro-negative equity.

Broke and bickering, the couple is reduced to relocating to Atlantic City, where he finds employment at his thuggish older brother’s Portaloo business. Might there be a better way? Might life not be easier in a Georgia commune peopled by dropouts, vegans and nudists?

There’s a decent comedy to be built around stressed-out yuppies embracing the extremities of the mind, body and spirit continuum. Unhappily, Wanderlust, a half- arsed comedy that proves just as shaggy and ramshackle as the folks it seeks to satirise, is not that movie.

Sure, there’s amusement to be had around the margins with Alan Alda’s accidental guru and Lauren Ambrose’s dotty flower child. But for most of the duration the film is just not funny enough or, indeed, funny at all.

The underdeveloped hippie cast makes you think of lesser Mike Myers offerings, The Love Guruand T he Cat in the Hat.

The jokes generally recall Hollywood’s 1960s attempts to get down with the counterculture, such as I Love You, Alice B. Toklasand The Guru. What’s that, Malin Akerman? You want free love? What’s that, Bob Hope? You want your free love gags back?

One sequence featuring Rudd practising his profane seduction technique drags on for a purgatorial duration. The bit doesn’t get any better with torturous repetition. Who knew?

David Wain, the director behind Role Modelsand Wet Hot American Summer, brings a puerile, potty- mouthed flair to this lacklustre Apatow production. Aniston and Rudd, despite the erratic script, reprise previous Aniston and Rudd pairings from Friendsand The Object of My Affectionwith aplomb.

But even before the maddeningly smug faux-bohemian denouement, we’ve turned off and tuned out. Bummer.