Wanderlust

  • Review Date: February 25, 2012
  • Rated: R
  • Genre: Comedy
  • Release Year: 2012

Common Sense Media says

Mature comedy offers lots of raunchy comedy -- plus nudity.
  • Review Date: February 25, 2012
  • Rated: R
  • Genre: Comedy
  • Release Year: 2012

Age(i)

2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17

Quality(i)

 

What parents need to know

Positive messages

Couples need to allow each other to grow in order for relationships to be successful -- but it's important to be respectful while doing so. Also, material possessions aren't everything. But neither is extremism just for the sake of extremism.

Positive role models

George and Linda care about each other a lot; they don't always make the right choices, but in the end, they hold their relationship dear. Also, there's something to be said for the commune members, who know how to live with all types of personalities and quirks. (Though that doesn't stop the movie from portraying some of them with pretty broad, semi-stereotypical strokes.)

Violence

Moments played for laughs include a fist fight between two men over a woman, who later joins the fracas. She also slaps her husband. A man pitches a fit in the middle of a family breakfast, throwing his plate on the floor and punching a cabinet. Later, his relative throws a plate, too.

Sex

Nudists walk around naked; everything, including their genitalia, is visible (in one scene, a crowd of them even runs in slow motion). Couples freely discuss swapping partners; a man discovers that his wife has slept with someone else, and he, too, flirts with someone else's partner. Lots of jokes about sex, body parts, and affairs. Loving couples kiss and snuggle with each other; one duo is shown under the covers presumably after having had sex. Male news anchors make sexist jokes about a female colleague. A woman discusses a sex toy with her sister-in-law. A woman delivers her own baby in a birth scene.

Language

Very frequent strong language by most characters, including a child who says "f--k." Other words include "s--t," "ass," d--k," "p---y," "t-t," "hell," "ass," "oh my God," "goddamn," "screw" and more.

Consumerism

For a movie with a fairly anti-consumerist message, Wanderlust name-drops and displays labels a lot, including Apple MacBook, iPhone, Blackberry, Kinko's, Moet & Chandon, Embassy Suites, Wellbutrin, SkyMall, and more.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking

Lots of wine drinking and pot smoking, as well as a hallucination-inducing tea that's drunk as part of a "truth circle." Some discussions about what it's like to get high. A woman nurses margaritas and mimosas seemingly all day long to cope with her vacuous life and philandering husband.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that Wanderlust -- which stars Jennifer Aniston and Paul Rudd and was produced by Judd Apatow -- delivers a lot of the same kind of very edgy material for which Apatow's other crowd-pleasing films (including Knocked Up and The 40-Year-Old Virgin) are known. There's frequent strong sexual content, full-frontal nudity (many characters are nudists), lots of strong language (including "f--k," "s--t," and many more), drinking, and drug use (pot). The jokes are raunchy, scatological, sex-charged, and plentiful.

Parents say

Kids say

What's the story?

George (Paul Rudd) and Linda (Jennifer Aniston) seem to have all the hallmarks of an up-and-coming New York couple: good looks, fast-paced jobs (he's a financier, she's a documentary filmmaker), and a posh downtown apartment. But then Linda fails to sell her movie to HBO, and George, who supports her financially, loses his job. Soon they're out of their apartment and heading south to Atlanta, where George's boorish, chauvinistic, racist brother (Ken Marino) and his hard-drinking, depressed wife (Michaela Watkins), are offering shelter and a soulless temp job. On the way there, they make a pit stop at Elysium, a commune -- nay, "intentional community" -- masquerading as a bed-and-breakfast led by a free-love-advocating pseudo-guru (Justin Theroux) that makes them question the way they live their lives.

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

WANDERLUST has all the hallmarks of a brilliant Judd Apatow movie: raunchy humor, absurdist set-ups, and a heaping serving of the awesome Paul Rudd. With a recipe like that, how can it go wrong? And it doesn't, really; it piles up the hilarity one ridiculous situation after another until you succumb. A scene in which Rudd stares at a mirror and talks dirty to himself will leave audiences heaving in laughter.

Still, Wanderlust doesn't quite strike comedy gold. Though it's laced with seriously funny moments, it often goes for cheaper laughs. (Ha ha, naked people with real-life bodies subject to the vagaries of gravity while running! Ha ha, vegans!) When a sight gag involves a woman delivering her own baby on a front porch and later displaying the placenta (complete with the requisite eating-the-placenta joke), it's all over. Wanderlust begins with a question for our time: Is this breakneck speed, this pursuit of life, liberty, and real estate equity worth it? It answers that question, of course, and in the way we'd expect it to. But how truly brilliant would it have been if the process of coming up with the answer, as well as the answer itself (in other words, the movie) had taken a more unexpected road?

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about how the filmmakers deal with the fine line between being crude and being funny. Which side do they fall on more often? Who decides where that line falls to begin with?

  • Are positive take aways harder to find in this kind of movie? What stays with you longer -- the raunchy humor or the more emotional messages?

  • How does the movie portray sex? Parents, talk to your teens about your own values regarding sex and relationships.

  • Why are George and Linda drawn to Elysium? What makes a commune attractive, and what doesn't?

Movie details

Theatrical release date:February 24, 2012
DVD release date:June 19, 2012
Cast:Jennifer Aniston, Malin Akerman, Paul Rudd
Director:David Wain
Studio:Universal Pictures
Genre:Comedy
Run time:98 minutes
MPAA rating:R
MPAA explanation:sexual content, graphic nudity, language and drug use

This review of Wanderlust was written by

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  • ON: Content is age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • PAUSE: Know your child; some content may not be right for some kids.
  • OFF: Not age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • NOT FOR KIDS: Not appropriate for kids of any age.

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Quality

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  • Very Good: Engaging, good learning approach.
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  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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What parents and kids say

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Parent Written byMorFinB February 25, 2012
AGE
16
QUALITY
 

The ending is a cop-out, but yes, it's as raunchy as other Apatow movies...

Lots and lots of in-your-face males genitalia. Husband and I thought it was hysterical and laughed throughout the movie, but it's not for kids. Most damaging, perhaps, is the use of hallucinogenics with no real consequences...just "freeing the mind" talk. I have no hangups about the human body, either...it doesn't bother me. It's the dirty talk and drugs and bad ending that I wouldn't want my son to see. It would have made for a much more interesting film if the people at the commune were all as pure as you think they are at the beginning as they are in the end.

What other families should know
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking
Kid, 11 years old Written byaz123654 March 2, 2012
AGE
18
QUALITY
 

Use COMMON SENSE

OK, I'll admit I haven't actually seen this movie, but look, there is naked people walking around, I mean seriously do kids actually need to see that. Plus a lot of bad language.

What other families should know
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Teen, 13 years old Written by23553 February 24, 2012
AGE
16
QUALITY
 

Nude people can't run in slo-mo?

This really doesn't deserver a higher rating than any other of Apatow's movies. Seriously, what's wrong with the human body? Not great though, don't bother until it's on dvd.

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