With the exception of “The Girl Most Likely”, which I enjoyed, “The Way Way Back”, my pick for the best movie so far this year, and a few possible redeeming films coming later in August, such as Woody Allen’s “Blue Jasmine”, little else has lured me to the theater.
In need of a fix, I ventured out to see “We’re the Millers” despite all of the critical condemnation it has received. I imagined it as a big screen version of the Showtime series “Weeds”, only with Jason Sudeikis and Jennifer Aniston instead of Mary Louise Parker. What I didn’t realize is that it plays out like the “Weeds” of later seasons, when the show ran off track and lost the spark and imagination of its earlier episodes. Still, that didn’t stop the movie from borrowing from its story lines.
My low expectations were right on. Director Marshall Rawson Thurber’s film — the same director who gave us “Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story” — is unnecessarily crude and predictable, and the crudeness is what passes for laughs. I’ll give him that it is shocking, but it isn’t funny.
The premise of the story is simple. After being robbed by a group of teenage thugs, David Burke (Sudeikis), a pot dealer who won’t deal to kids, (“Weeds” plot line #1) and whose clients include business people and soccer moms, (“Weeds” plot line #2) is in major debt to his supplier (Ed Helms in a rather creepy role). To make up for his loss he is forced to bring a huge shipment of pot across the Mexican border. He devises a plan for his own safety, which involves a fake wife (Aniston), two kids, and a family RV. The Millers take off for a weekend vacation to Mexico, and as you may have guessed, nothing goes as planned. They run into trouble with Mexican drug lords and accidentally befriend another RV family with a connection to the DEA (“Weeds” plot line #3), among other mishaps.
Sudeikis and Helms are always funny in those over the top comedic roles. In this movie, however, their characters weren’t at all likeable. Aniston, who may have been trying to reach outside of her comfort zone with this role, appeared wooded as she dropped f-bombs galore playing the stripper who signs on to be the wife/mother of the group. The actress with the most successful movie career out of all of the “Friends” co-stars may want to stick with the girl next door love interest in movies, because when she tries to play the bad girl or even a bad girl with a good heart, it turns out exactly that — bad. I didn’t buy it in the movie “Derailed” and I don’t buy it in “We’re the Millers”.
Rating: 1.5 – Skip this one and go see “The Way Way Back” still in theaters instead. If you must see it wait for Netflix or the Red Box price and you won’t feel too bad about wasting the money.
5. Great Movie, see it now
4. Good movie and worth the price of admission
3. It’s OK, but I’d wait for the DVD
2. Proceed with caution
1. Don’t bother