WE’RE THE MILLERS is an occasionally funny film that, sadly will soon be back (I’m sure) in an even less funny version, “We’re the Millers 2”. The story offers an engaging enough premise: small time weed dealer, David (Jason Sudeikis – mainly from Saturday Night Live and other minor appearances) has had all his stock and savings stolen by a gang of thugs – which leaves him indebted to slime-bag drug king pin, Brad (Ed Helms of “The Hangover” series).
In order to pay off his debts, he’s forced to go down to Mexico to pick up just a smidgen of weed (really, you could probably get all you need from LA…anyway it’s just a movie). David reasons that in order to avoid border patrol searching him, it’ll be easier to look like a boring mid-Western family. So, he recruits Kenny, a neglected teenager neighbor (Will Poulter from “The Chronicles of Narnia” and who’s actually the funniest thing in the movie), Casey, a vagrant (Emma Roberts, from various teen horror flicks) and of course, the star of the show, Rosie, a disgruntled, unemployed, dumped upon stripper (Jennifer Aniston)
Along their picaresque journey, this faux family meets various bad guys, drug dealers, DEA agents, closet swingers, gay Mexican policemen, nasty tarantulas, the “smidgen of weed” turns out to be more like a ton of it and of course they finally all bond as a real family.
There’s a smattering of funny lines, with enough “fucks” thrown in so that you know you’re watching an ADULT COMEDY; the situations are less puerile than the usual American comedies (the Hangovers and American Pies and the variously named Frat House indulgences) and there’s Jen quasi stripping.
The good news is, as we’ve always known, she has a wonderful bod.
The bad news is that her funny bone has now been stretched well past its sell-by date. Haven’t we seen Jenifer Aniston in this role for the last century or so? Sandra Bullock I could see making something of this half -baked production and a whole lot more of Jen’s stripper with a heart of gold cliché. As we saw in “Miss Confidentiality” this fifty year old can fuse together sexy and comedic seamlessly. Jennifer just seems uncomfortable. Indeed, she seemed curiously distant from the entire production. My guess is that bad drug dealers in her neighbourhood (dealing probably tofu and spinach) blackmailed her into this role. Or, more likely, some desperate agent felt she needed to ramp up her sex creds to finally leave “Friends” behind. And what we get is this less than sexy, unfunny performance. If she continues like this, she’s going to turn into Meg Ryan.
That said, the rest of the cast work industriously hard to make “We’re The Millers” just a smidgen above mediocre. Director Rawson Marshall Thurber is the one who gave us “Dodgeball: The Underground Story”, which would indicate that viewers really shouldn’t get their hopes up too high. It’s a sold more or less OK. If you have nothing else to do and there are no books worth reading in your house and the US Open isn’t on.