When I was growing up, if my mom was super-tired, sometimes she would make this stuff for dinner called "milk mush." It's a bastardization of a sour-cream-based Norwegian porridge called rømmegrøt, except without the sour cream, because sour cream would be too much like an actual ingredient. So what you're eating is basically chewy milk, only less flavorful. (Milk mush recipe: Heat milk. Slowly add flour and whisk until milk turns to mush. Pour onto plate. Top with butter, sugar, and cinnamon. Eat it. EAT IT.) Anyway, I fucking love milk mush. But at the same time, if milk mush disappeared from the earth forever (because... butter went extinct), I would never, ever notice and it would never, ever matter.
Metaphor: WANDERLUST IS MILK MUSH. I liked Wanderlust. It's full of high-quality staple ingredients (Jennifer Aniston, Paul Rudd, Justin Theroux, Alan Alda, Lauren Ambrose, most of the cast of The State, and a rubber penis). It goes down fine, like liquid cinnamon toast! Also, my mom made it (my mom is David Wain). But it's also the most bland, forgettable, inoffensive non-event I've seen since Meryl Streep won that Oscar on Sunday and I yawned so hard I swallowed a bird (OMG, REALLY? MERYL STREEP IS THE "BEST ACTRESS"? THE NUMBER ONE BEST? AT ACTING? YOU DON'T FAHAHAHAHACKING SAY).
In Wanderlust, Paul Rudd and Jennifer Aniston (freakishly likable) live in New York City. And they love it!!! Zowie!!! The Big Apple! So they buy this stupid billion-dollar tiny apartment ("it's a micro-loft") even though he doesn't want to and she doesn't even have a job. Cool. Then, like immediately, his company implodes because of "the Feds," and now they are just regular poors! So they sell the apartment at a 100 percent loss for some reason (couldn't you just... rent it out?) and head to Georgia, where Paul Rudd's brother Ken Marino makes a whole bunch of money moving human feces here and there. Except, turns out, the human feces business is full of JERKS, so they leave again and go and live on this hippie commune called Elysium where everyone plays didgeridoo and cares about feminism and Joe Lo Truglio's (rubber?) penis is always waggling to and fro, to and fro, even first thing in the morning. Charismatic cult leader Justin Theroux keeps everything wacky to the max. Every single gag is the exact same shade of medium-funny.
You know how sometimes the things that my mom, David Wain, makes feel like the midnight show on the public-access station on the most perverted planet in all of space? Wanderlust is not like that. Wanderlust is just a super-regular movie, meant to entertain super-regular folks without getting too weird or saying much of anything at all. It gives you the feeling that it's satirizing something without ever clarifying what that thing is. Hippies? Timely! Wall Street? Not really! People who like using their cell phones to make phone calls? Incisive!
Can you tell that my heart isn't really in this review? I know the feeling. I learned it from watching YOU, WANDERLUST. I learned it from watching you.