Saturday, August 31, 2013

We're the Millers - Movie Review

Starring Jennifer Aniston, Jason Sudeikis, Emma Roberts, Will Poulter, Nick Offerman, Kathryn Hahn, Ed Helms, Molly Quinn and Luis Guzman.
Directed by Rawson Marshall Thurber.

★★

This send-up of the heartland image of the American family can't decide on a tone. Is it just slapstick?  Farce?  Realistic?  You can't have a character go for heart-string tugs ten minutes after he winked right at the camera.

Jason Sudeikis, who announced he won't be back on Saturday Night Live this fall, plays a pot-dealer named David.  David just loves his life of living alone, dealing drugs, and being free.  Other than that, we don't get a lot of depth to him. We know he's cynical and a smart-aleck, the type of role Chevy Chase would've played 30 years ago.  After he gets robbed, he has to come up with $43,000 for his boss, who offers to forgive his debt and pay another $100,000 if he'll go down to Mexico and pick up a "smidge" of marijuana.

In one of those movie strokes of genius, he decides to hire a fake family and pretend to be dorks on vacation, another type of role Chase would've played 30 years ago.  David recruits Rose (Jennifer Aniston), a stripper who lives in his building; Kenny (Will Poulter), a nerdy 18-year-old who also lives in his building with a mom who's gone for weeks at a time; and Casey (Emma Roberts), a homeless runaway.

It has some funny moments, but it's more miss than hit. For instance, we don't need 12 different shots of ths spider to get that it's crawled up Kenny's leg.  Why does Rose even have a strip number in the middle of the movie, if only to gratify Aniston's ego that she's still got it? And at the end, when it goes for mushiness, it just reeks of falsehood.  The movie did nothing to earn it, and yet it tries to grab it.

Nick Offerman and Kathryn Hahn, both from Parks & Recreation, are energetic in their roles as the nerdy couple who try to befriend the Millers.

It passed $100 million this week, so if they want to make a sequel, it's set up for one.

1 comment:

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