We're the Millers

Directed By: Rawson Marshall Thurber

Starring: Jason Sudeikis, Jennifer Aniston, Emma Roberts, Will Poulter, Ed Helms, and Nick Offerman

The universe has a strange way of telling us the most mundane things sometimes.  For me, it comes in the form of Nick at Nite.  When I was growing up, shows like I Dream of Jeannie, Bewitched, and The Brady Bunch were on Nickelodeon in the wee hours of the night.  As time went on, Nick moved to somewhat younger shows including The Jeffersons, The Cosby Show, and even Roseanne in more recent years.  Somewhere deep down inside, I took a mental note of the transition, but it didn't really register with me until recently.  While at a hotel one night last month, I found myself on Nick at Nite once again.  When I heard the famous theme song "I'll Be There for You", I knew something was wrong.  The universe was telling me I'm not so young anymore.  It was Friends.  I digress with this nostalgic tale because I get to talk about something Friends star Jennifer Aniston is doing currently—her comedy We're the Millers opposite SNL vet Jason Sudeikis.  Unfortunately, I won't be giving any anecdotes down the road about her movie hitting theaters this weekend.

David Clark (Sudeikis) is a middle-aged pot dealer.  With no wife, no kids, and no responsibilities, David is living the dream.  On his way into his apartment one night, he runs into his neighbor and local stripper Rose (Aniston) who promptly scolds him for being an irresponsible, selfish loser.  He then runs into his 18 year-old neighbor Kenny (Will Poulter), who's been abandoned by his alcoholic mother.  While they're talking, they witness young neighborhood hobo Casey (Emma Roberts) getting harassed by some hooligans for her iPhone.  An eager Kenny and a reluctant David get involved, and it costs David all his drugs and his stash of cash.

Out of money and out of weed to sell, David lays low for a while.  His supplier Brad Gurdlinger (Ed Helms) manages to find David and wants the broke drug dealer to square a $43,000 debt with him.  Brad offers David the opportunity to do so by going down to Mexico.  Trading on Brad's fake name Pablo Chacon, David will retrieve and smuggle a smidge and a half of marijuana across the border back into the States.  This is a big task, and David knows he can't do it alone.  He looks too shady on his own.  With this in mind, he recruits Rose, Kenny, and Casey to join him as a "family".  They're the Millers.  Together, they go down to Mexico, get a whole lot of weed, and go on one dangerous adventure.

We're the Millers is a disappointing comedy that just doesn't get the job done.  With a cast of this stature, we should expect better of this film.  With a fake family full of degenerates including both a stripper and a drug dealer, I certainly expected a film with a wild story and some outrageously funny jokes. After seeing the film, I can say we get the wild story, but nothing else.  The laughs just aren't there.  At best, I chuckled throughout Rawson Marshall Thurber's film.  That's not the mark of a great comedy.  That's the mark of mediocrity.

The stars playing the Millers have great chemistry as a family on screen, but no comedic chemistry whatsoever.  For his role as aspiring international drug smuggler David, Jason Sudeikis leaves a lot to be desired.  The comedy vet needs to bring a little more personality to his character and spice things up a bit.  For her part as David's neighbor Rose, Jennifer Aniston's performance can be summed up in three words "black cock down".  While the Friends star gives an amusingly sensual performance at times as the outspoken stripper, she gets a little too trashy at others.  Aniston can do better.  As Kenny, Will Poulter's signature moment is when he becomes the reincarnation of Lisa "Left Eye" Lopes and spits her lyrics from the beloved TLC song "Waterfalls".  Poulter is otherwise an annoying boy scout throughout the film.  Finally, we have Emma Roberts in her snarky depiction of wannabe hobo Casey.  She doesn't do anything on screen we haven't seen from her in the past.

All in all, We're the Millers is a comedy without comedy.  Rawson Marshall Thurber can give us a bizarre family of swingers, some bloodthirsty Mexican baddies, and a dumb stripper named "Boner Garage", but that's not enough.  Crudeness does not equate to humor.  A wild story and insanely funny jokes are not one and the same.  Mistaking one for the other is becoming all too common in comedies today.  I should have left the movie thinking about how much I enjoyed myself.  Instead, I left with mojitos on my mind.  We're the Millers gets a 0.09% rating.