Wanderlust (2012 film)
|This article's lead section may not adequately summarize key points of its contents. (February 2015)|
|Directed by||David Wain|
|Music by||Craig Wedren|
|Distributed by||Universal Pictures|
|Box office||$24.2 million|
Wanderlust is a 2012 American comedy film directed by David Wain, starring Jennifer Aniston and Paul Rudd, as a married couple who try to escape modern society by finding themselves on a commune in Georgia, after the economy crashes down on their dreams in New York City.
George and Linda Gergenblatt are an urban married couple who purchase a micro-loft in New York after much hesitation. George is expecting a promotion while Linda is trying to sell a documentary to HBO. Soon after purchasing their home, George learns that his company has folded, overnight, while HBO rejects Linda's documentary. With both out of work, they are forced to sell their apartment and drive to Atlanta to live with George's arrogant brother Rick and his wife Marisa after Rick offers George a job.
After many hours on the highway, Linda demands they stop to rest. The closest place to stop appears to be a bed and breakfast hotel named Elysium. After exiting the highway, as they approach, they are surprised to see a naked man walking ahead of them. He approaches them. Startled and apprehensive, George tries to back up to the highway, but accidentally flips the car over. The nude man, Wayne Davidson, helps them out of the car, and they are forced to stay at the hotel. They meet several colorful guests, and then go to bed. While trying to sleep, they are distracted by noises downstairs. When they go to investigate, they learn that Elysium is a hippie commune. They meet even more various, eccentric residents of Elysium, including Seth, Eva, and Elysium's owner Carvin. George and Linda spend the night feeling more alive than before. In the morning, everyone helps flip the car back upright so they can leave, as Seth urges them to stay, but they continue on to Atlanta.
George and Linda arrive at Rick's house and find the atmosphere chaotic. George quickly reaches a breaking point with Rick and takes Linda back to Elysium, where they are welcomed back. George is excited about the simpler lifestyle while Linda is hesitant. They decide to stay and give the place a two-week trial run. After a few days, Linda starts feeling enlightened after drinking some drug laced tea in the truth circle, while George begins having second thoughts. George and Linda soon learn that 'free love' is strongly encouraged as Seth and Eva want to seduce Linda and George, respectively. Both George and Linda rebuff the notion of free love, and several crazy situations arise during that period, bizarre and otherwise.
At the same time, Elysium is being targeted by property developers to build a casino on the property, as title to the property is disputed, and Carvin has misplaced the deed to the land. After the developers arrive with a bulldozer, to make a TV reporting-crew take more interest, Linda scares them off by flashing them her breasts, and many of the other residents join her, which gets sensationalized coverage, and halts the proceeding. Linda is lauded as a hero by the commune. The two weeks are up, and George demands that they leave, saying that if they stay, they would have to give in to 'free love'. Linda wants to stay and has sex with Seth. George is pressured to have sex with Eva, but he becomes uncomfortable and drives her away with his awkward and bizarre behavior. The next morning, George reaches a breaking point, again, stating that he dislikes the rules of Elysium and wants to leave. Linda wants to stay, so George goes back to Rick's house alone.
Seth believes he has found his soul mate in Linda and searches for the deed to Elysium, which he finds and sells to the property, for $11,000, to developers to start a new life with Linda, betraying the commune. A child from the commune witnesses the burning of the deed by Seth and the man that wants to build the casino. Seth tells Linda he wants them to leave Elysium behind, together, and that the others can look after themselves. Linda refuses.
In the meantime, George realizes he loves Linda and comes back to find her, getting into a fight with Seth while the commune looks on and tries to help 'non-violently'. The child that witnessed the burning of the deed by Seth tells the commune what happened and George punches Seth in the jaw.
In the aftermath, the news show that visited Elysium does a follow-up story about the commune. George and Linda start a publishing company, with their first book being a political thriller novel written by Wayne. The novel is then fast-tracked into a film adaptation starring Ray Liotta. Carvin reclaims his rights to Elysium after he is reunited with all the original founders of Elysium, one of whom had another copy of the deed.
- Paul Rudd as George Gergenblatt
- Jennifer Aniston as Linda Gergenblatt
- Justin Theroux as Seth
- Malin Åkerman as Eva
- Lauren Ambrose as Almond Cohen
- Joe Lo Truglio as Wayne Davidson
- Alan Alda as Carvin Wiggins
- Kathryn Hahn as Karen
- Ken Marino as Rick Gergenblatt
- Jordan Peele as Rodney Wilson
- Kerri Kenney-Silver as Kathy
- Michaela Watkins as Marisa Gergenblatt
- Ray Liotta as himself
- Trisha Paytas as Davidson's wife
David Wain began chronicling the film's production and pre-production on his blog on May 21, 2010. Most of the production took place in Georgia. Additional material was filmed in New York City and Los Angeles.
Principal photography took place in a number of places in Georgia: the Gwinnett Diner in Lawrenceville (which was also used for a scene in the film Road Trip); a subdivision called Miramonte Way off Ozora Road in the Lawrenceville, Georgia area; and in Habersham County, off of New Liberty Road.
The film was released on February 24, 2012. During its first weekend Wanderlust opened at #8, with $6.5 million from 2,002 locations. Given its poor debut, it was considered a box-office flop. After six weeks, it concluded its theatrical run with North American domestic gross of $17,288,155 and international gross of $4,162,198.
Wanderlust received positive reviews from critics. Rotten Tomatoes gives the film a 60% rating based on 136 reviews, with the site's consensus stating, "It isn't always as funny as it should be, but Wanderlust benefits from an extremely talented cast and some of David Wain's most confident, assured work behind the camera." On Metacritic, which assigns a normalized rating out of 100 based on reviews from critics, the film has a score of 53 based on 34 reviews, indicating "mixed or average reviews." Audiences surveyed by CinemaScore gave it a B- grade.
|2013||People's Choice Awards||Favorite Comedic Movie Actress||Jennifer Aniston||Won|
A Blu-ray/DVD combo was released on June 19, 2012. The last reported gross for the DVD was $3,807,225. The Blu-ray contained the extras Wanderlust: The Bizarro Cut (1:19:59), and an audio commentary by director/producer/co-writer David Wain, producer/co-writer/actor Ken Marino, and producer/actor Paul Rudd. The trio chat about the genesis of the script, how all the actors came on board, logical inconsistencies, and test audiences. They're also "joined" by Albert Brooks, Woody Allen, Christopher Walken, Al Pacino, Bill Clinton, William Shatner, Alan Arkin, Peter Falk, and many other celebrities, all of whom are really impressions done by actor Kevin Pollak.
The video extras consist of a gag reel (5:44), and "Line-O-Rama" (9:10). Featurettes follow: "God Afton!: Behind the Scenes of Wanderlust" (27:13), Penis Envy (7:41) and "The Elysium Campaign" (5:38). The whole package is rounded out by an episode of Wain's webshow "Wainy Days: Elysium" (8:37), which finds David stumbling onto the commune and having his own sexual awakening, plus robots.
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