We’re mugs if we watch another empty Aniston vehicle

We’re the Millers is a mildly amusing attempt to portray the groan-worthy family road trip. But this comedy has a twist –  the foursome are not only unrelated, they are practically strangers.

David (Jason Sudeikis) is a small-time drug dealer who has not really developed his career or maturity level since college. After having his stash robbed by teens, his boss (Ed Helms) proposes that they settle their debt by having David make a drug run down to Mexico. David comes up with the brilliant plan to recruit his outcast neighbours to pretend to be his average, middle-class American family (families never get a second look at the border.)

He convinces his awkward, virgin teenage neighbour, Kenny (Will Poulter), to pretend to be his son. Next, they get the local runaway girl, Casey (Roberts), to join the cause. Finally, David manages to persuade Rose (Jennifer Aniston), a stripper with a heart of gold, to pretend to be his wife.

Aniston’s portrayal of a stripper was sadly unconvincing yet not surprising as she is a long way outside her comfort-zone. Sudeikis was not much better as he lacked the screen presence to succeed in the leading role. The younger actors, Poulter and Roberts, are comically skilled and quite a good fit for their roles. Character development is fairly superficial, although that’s to be expected in this formulaic genre.

We’re the Millers was written by a team of four and gives the impression that none of them loved it so they decided to stick with one joke – the twisting of the family archetype. Plot gaps are filled by relying on stereotypes and cringe-worthy innuendo to fulfill any expectation of humour.

The conventional plotline’s dismal attempt to deliver a message that outsiders are not necessarily bad people predictably winds up being the clichéd, overused adage ‘don’t judge a book by its cover’.

The comedy strives to teach the viewer the important lesson that if you look the part and act the part, you will eventually become the part. Fake it ‘til you make it through the borders of Mexico. Needless to say, this film didn’t quite make it.





We’re the Millers (7)

Dir: Rawson Marshall Thurber; US comedy, 2013, 110 mins; Jennifer Aniston, Jason Sudeikis, Emma Roberts
Premiered August 15

Playing nationwide