At The Theater 2012 #3: Wanderlust

I have been a huge fan of The State since it originally aired on MTV in the mid-90s, so it should come as no surprise that I jumped at the chance to see an advance screening of Wanderlust. And by huge fan of The State, I mean really huge fan. MTV used to rerun the episodes during the week and I would watch the initial airing and then watch every subsequent airing of the same episode that week. I had entire sketches committed to memory and was devastated when CBS completely botched The State’s move there from MTV.

Members of The State are all over Wanderlust. It was directed by David Wain, written by Wain & Ken Marino, who both appeared in the movie with other The State alumni Joe Lo Truglio, Kerri Kenney, Michael Ian Black and Michael Showalter.

Paul Rudd and Jennifer Aniston star as George and Linda, a NYC couple that are forced to leave the city after George loses his job in finance. The montage of George and Linda driving south hilariously encapsulates long road trips.

Wanderlust lampoons both the gigantic price and minuscule size of NYC housing to great effect. I know couples who have lived in apartments the size of George and Linda’s studio micro-loft.

The bulk of the movie takes place at the Elysium, a rural hippie commune intentional community that’s full of everything you’d think to find at a rural hippie commune intentional community: vegans, hemp clothing and lots of hairy nudity.

When Joe Lo Truglio’s character first appeared in the movie, I thought he was Radinsky from Lost, but more naked.
Following the screening at the Walter Reade Theater at Lincoln Center, David Wain, Paul Rudd, Ken Marino, Kerri Kenney and Alan Alda sat for a moderated Q&A. Everyone on the stage was super nice. It was very cool to sit a few rows away from these people, because I idolized them so much in high school.

The coolest highlight of this Q&A was Wain and Marino talking about the Bizarro Cut of the movie, which is Wanderlust told completely through alternative takes that did not make the theatrical cut. Characters and plot lines will be transformed! I already want to pre-order this DVD.

The second biggest highlight of the Q&A for me was when David Wain recognized somebody in the crowd and started waving to them. This person must have been directly behind me, because I was sitting there thinking, “Wait, even though we’ve never met or even had so much as a Twitter conversation with each other, is David Wain smiling and waving at me? No, couldn’t be. Then again, maybe he recognizes my Twitter avatar photo, even though I’m not wearing sunglasses right now.” I knew he wasn’t waving at me. That didn’t stop me from wanting to wave back. I kind of wish I did.

The third biggest highlight? Finding out Paul Rudd is such a snappy dresser.

Go see Wanderlust. It is very, very funny. I haven’t last this hard in a movie theater since I saw Bridesmaids last May.