Elysium, this ridiculous commune, is, from the outset, set up as a place where one can't imagine either of these two people would actually like spending a lot of time. It is exact sort of place where they might enjoy themselves for a long weekend, but not they kind of place they'd ever want to really live.
However, again, without George and Linda going to live at Elysium, there's no movie; without them encountering the wacky characters at Elysium, there is no movie. And, where the movie mostly succeeds, is with its creation of the wacky characters at Elysium. First, there's the nudist, Wayne (Joe Lo Truglio); then there's the old half-senile guy who owns the house, Carvin (Alan Alda); and there's the attractive free love woman, Eva (Malin Akerman). The list continues, but you get the point. They're eclectic and, for lack of a better term, "crunchy."
Where the cast of oddballs most needs to succeed though is with the guy who actually runs the commune, Seth (Justin Theroux), and there it fails spectacularly. Nearly every piece of Seth's character is telegraphed – he's the guy who seems cool and has been living outside of society for so long he has no clue about pop culture but who would trade it all in and sell George down the river for the opportunity to jump Linda. And that doesn't work. From the moment he first appears on screen, it is clear that there will eventually be tension between George and Seth over Linda and that rather than doing anything truly interesting with the folks at Elysium, the film is going to degenerate into a battle for Linda's heart. Wanderlust isn't a good movie to that point, but once it gets there, the wheels really come off.
The basic problem is that the movie really just seems to just want to ask the question "what if two New Yorkers were forced to live in a hippie commune" and then doesn't have any sort of an interesting answer. Instead, it throws a bunch of stuff up against the wall—they could have problems with free love, there could be an evil developer, the guy in charge could be skeazy—to see what sticks (none of it). The more interesting movie is the one not made – what would have happened if George had stayed with Rick and Rick's drunk, depressed wife? How could he and Linda have adjusted to that different, but real, life?