Entertainment LIFESTYLE  >  Summer Movies 2013: We’re the Millers

Summer Movies 2013: We’re the Millers

Summer Movies 2013: We’re the Millers
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BY ALISON BAILES

“We’re the Millers” rides the wave of recent R rated comedies that aim to shock and awe with risqué jokes, outré behavior and close-up shots of misshapen private parts. There are two anal sex references, a mother-lode of incest jokes and hints of a four-way orgy. Some of the smuttiness will make you laugh. Mostly you’ll just groan and wonder how a whole movie can hang on sexual innuendo and a silly plot involving Mexican drug lords.

Jason Sudeikis plays David, a dimebag drug dealer in Denver. An amusing run-in with a college buddy (Thomas Lennon, always stellar in a cameo) reminds him that he is living a shallow existence with no family or real friends. Outside of his customers, he has little social life, save an antagonistic relationship with his stand-offish neighbor Rose (Jennifer Aniston), an exotic dancer with no career prospects and a loser boyfriend. When street thugs wipe out David’s drug stash and personal savings, he finds himself indebted to his supplier Brad (Ed Helms hamming it up). To pay him back he must smuggle “a smidge” of marijuana across the Mexican border and deliver it back to Brad. He recruits Rose to play his wife, Casey a street runaway (Emma Roberts) to pose as his daughter and latch-key teenager Kenny (Will Poulter) to be his pretend son. Posing as the all-American family on a Mexican vacation, they rent a giant RV and brashly drive into the compound of drug kingpin Pablo Chacon (Tomer Sisley) where the RV is loaded up with a large shipment. It quickly becomes apparent that they all have a lot to learn about drug-smuggling and the ensuing escapades provide what passes for comic drama.

There’s not much dramatic heft here, which is fine in a film that needs to provoke laughs rather than thrills. But did the “baddies” have to be so one dimensional and colorless?  The script (by four writers no less) barely gives Pablo a personality besides a sneer and a gigantic meathead of a henchman.

Nick Offerman (“Parks & Recreation”) pops up as a D.E.A. agent with Kathryn Hahn (“Wanderlust”) as his chatterbox wife.  Both actors are a welcome sight and usually able to enliven most scripts. Here they are reduced to talking about vaginas or fondling Sudeikis’s ear. It’s a waste of talent.

As for Sudeikis, his role doesn’t ask too much of him and he’s passable as the desperate but bland leading man trying to talk his way out of a scrape. Aniston doesn’t fare as well, mainly because the script insists on making jokes about her mom clothes even though they hardly conceal her hot, Hollywood, Pilates-toned body underneath. She is entirely unconvincing as an exotic dancer and when she is called upon to strip for Pablo, it’s almost embarrassing how hard she tries to be seductive and sexy. Yes, we know she looks great in lacy underwear. Enough already. It’s time for Jennifer to star in a small, indie drama and show us her acting chops rather than her (terrific) abs.

Sudeikis and Aniston co-starred in “The Bounty Hunter” (2010) and “Horrible Bosses” (2011) but didn’t share many scenes. Given their high-profile careers and the success of their recent comedies, it makes perfect sense that New Line Cinema would pair them together. It would have been better if someone had provided them with a stronger script instead of just depending on cheap visual gags and lowest common denominator humor.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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