Funny ideas and a funny cast don't always make for a funny movie. Today's case in point, Wanderlust (2012). Directed by David Wain (Wet Hot American Summer) with a script by Wain and Ken Marino (Party Down as an actor, Role Models as a writer), the film stars Jennifer Aniston and Paul Rudd. That is not a bad group of people to be working on a project, and the idea, a New York City couple is forced to ditch city life and find themselves in a commune in Georgia, is potentially amusing as well. However, with the exception of a few jokes, Wanderlust is a misfire.
The film doesn't start out that way, in fact, it opens with a good deal of promise. It all begins with George (Rudd) and Linda (Aniston) worrying over buying an ultra-small, but in a hip neighborhood, NYC apartment. It is an agonizing decision with NY being a pricey real estate market, but the two opt to purchase only to have George lose his job soon after. With Linda being less than successful in her career, the two find themselves with little choice but to leave Manhattan and join George's brother, Rick (Marino), in Georgia where Rick has offered George a job at his company.
This all requires some suspension of disbelief, but that's okay, movies generally require suspension of disbelief. It doesn't really matter that George doesn't seem to look for a new job all that hard before they leave or that Linda won't actually buckle down and serve fries rather than lose the apartment she loves. It also doesn't, on the face of it, matter that George and Linda's two day road trip to Georgia feels like a week or two (did no one look at a map?) and that when they're finally nearly at Rick's place—they're already in Georgia—George and Linda pull over for the night at a bed and breakfast.
It is a lot of suspension of disbelief to be sure, but if none of that happens George and Linda don't meet the folks at Elysium, the bed and breakfast they stop at, and if that doesn't happen they can't end up deciding to live there themselves once Rick and his job prove distasteful. And then there's no movie. Or something like that. There are probably other ways to introduce George and Linda to Elysium, ways that work better, but this one isn't the worst possible. The biggest problem is that it doesn't really make one care about what happens next.