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Movie Review: Wanderlust Wrings New Laughs Out of a Weary Idea

(L to R, foreground) Kathy (KERRI KENNEY-SILVER), George (PAUL RUDD), Linda (JENNIFER ANISTON), Seth (JUSTIN THEROUX) and Eva (MALIN AKERMAN) at Elysium in "Wanderlust", the raucous new comedy from director David Wain and producer Judd Apatow about a harried couple who leave the pressures of the big city and join a freewheeling community where the only rule is to be yourself.

In the exuberant comedy Wanderlust, unemployed Manhattan couple George (Paul Rudd) and Linda (Jennifer Aniston) stumble into a hippie-dippie ­hallucinogen-imbibing farming commune with free love and no doors, even on bathrooms. It’s not fresh terrain for satire, yet most of the jokes play riotously well. In part that’s because, deep down, many of us still embrace the fantasy of freeing ourselves from the oppressive social network and crushing fear of job loss by becoming flower children, working the land, and gazing on long-haired girls in tie-dyed dresses atop white steeds while affable, hairy men strum guitars and offer weed: It’s the great American (hash) pipe dream. But Wanderlust mostly works because of another kind of collective: marvelous clowns who groove on the chance to turn Utopia dystopian.

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Photo: Photo Credit: Gemma La Mana/Copyright: © 2012 Universal Studios. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.