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Film Review: We’re the Millers

Photo: Warner Bros., License: N/A

Warner Bros.

The family that smuggles together

We’re the Millers

Directed by Rawson Marshall Thurber

Jennifer Aniston may walk with a tight little ass twitch in her khaki capris as a stripper-gone-housewife in the new comedy We’re the Millers, but girl has no rhythm. Millers is set in mellow Denver, Colo., which may make the stripper part more believable, but to answer the question on everyone’s lips: Yes, her striptease is hot and awkward and made possible by multiple cameras angles, water and oil, and at least one smoke machine.

Of course Aniston’s muscular, tan physique serves her well as Rose O’Reilly, an exotic dancer soon to be evicted from her apartment in the same complex as David Clark (Jason Sudeikis), a slacker weed dealer. After a mugging involving another neighbor, Kenny Rossmore (super-talented Will Poulter), and teenage runaway Casey Mathis (the dull Emma Roberts), David owes his dealer, Brad Gurdlinger (a slightly scary Ed Helms), big time and is forced to smuggle Mexican weed into the States. Watching a traditional family in a recreational vehicle get off easy with a cop lightbulbs him a plan: Hire Rose, Kenny, and Casey to pose as his family, dress like Midwestern tourists, and try to keep the swearing to a minimum.

The Millers, they may call themselves at the start of this road-tripping comedy, but family they become through the highs and lows of smuggling vast quantities of illegal substance. Just kidding. Sort of. It’s kind of surprising how fast they get in and out of Mexico (well, not in so much as out) while insults, sarcasm, and retorts fly between the four. Then they try and keep it together after being basically adopted by another family of RV’ers, the Fitzgeralds—earnest Don (hilarious Nick Offerman), goofy Edie (why-isn’t-she-more-famous? Kathryn Hahn), and innocent Melissa (Molly C. Quinn).

Interacting with the legit Fitzgerald family gives the Millers both opportunity to play to their strengths and to show off their play-acting skills: Kenny gets to D&D-out with Melissa, Rose knows her way around boobs, David gets to pretend he cares about others, and Casey just sulks (Roberts has nothing behind those pretty brown eyes). Plus, as a mirrored set of actors, Hahn and Offerman seem to bring out the playfulness in Aniston and Sudeikis; their characters cease to fight with each other as they appear to be on the same team.

Other bit players (Luis Guzman, Ken Marino, Scott Adsit, Vanderpump Rules’ Laura-Leigh[!]) make the most of their screen time too, adding much to the mostly flat humor. Poulter, with his cartoon-like freckles and cowlick hairline, steals scenes away from Aniston and Sudeikis (who actually has the best lines).

More comedy complexity comes from the darker “Did they just . . . they did!” plot-moving scenes: A spider bite, practicing the milestones of adolescence, TLC on the radio. It’s not a terrible film but it’s not terribly funny either. You may come for the Aniston ass, but be sure and stay for the too-short blooper reel.

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