Wanderlust

Movie review by
S. Jhoanna Robledo, Common Sense Media
Wanderlust Movie Poster Image
Mature comedy offers lots of raunchy comedy -- plus nudity.
  • R
  • 2012
  • 98 minutes

Parents say

age 14+
Based on 4 reviews

Kids say

age 15+
Based on 7 reviews

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this movie.

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 & Representations

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.

What 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.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written byMorFinB February 25, 2012

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 damag... Continue reading
Adult Written byR.C. March 10, 2012

Boring.

You Americans are so prudish. Just watched the movie, found it totally boring, but the comments here are so silly.
Kid, 11 years old March 2, 2012

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.... Continue reading
Teen, 13 years old Written by23553 February 24, 2012

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, do... Continue reading

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?

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?

Talk to your kids 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

For kids who love comedy

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