Jennifer Aniston remains an enigma in the movie business. The seemingly ageless beauty keeps getting chances to prove her worth as a star – We’re the Millers marks her 26th movie – but the results show that maybe she shouldn’t.
Only five of Aniston's movies have crossed the $100 million mark, with none of those films truly resting on her shoulders. She shares the burden again this time around, but it’s extremely doubtful the box office for We’re the Millers will approach $50 million, let alone $100 million. That’s because it’s a low-concept film made even lower by the execution of its filmmakers.
An R-rated comedy, We’re the Millers is profane merely for the sake of being profane.
Jason Sudeikis plays David, a marijuana dealer in Denver. When his boss (Ed Helms) demands he smuggle a new pot shipment out of Mexico, David comes up with the ingenious idea of recruiting three random people to be his family so he’ll seem less suspicious.
They include Rose (Aniston), his stripper neighbor; Kenny (Will Poulter), a teenager who lives downstairs; and Casey (Emma Roberts), a homeless girl who squats near his building.
The foursome trek to Mexico and back in an RV, and the story idea at first seems ripe for clever twists on the family road trip. But director Rawson Marshall Thurber and the squadron of four different writers decide to forego any cleverness, aiming instead of good old-fashioned stupidity.
Much of that stems from the decision to make the film R-rated. Other R-rated comedies have succeeded by being outrageous and over-the-top. We’re the Millers is never that offensive, though; it’s profane merely for the sake of being profane.
A more interesting idea would’ve had the characters censoring themselves in order to hide their true identities. As it is, they never seem all that interested in actually being the fake Millers, which blows the entire concept of the movie.
There are really only a handful of chuckle-worthy moments in the whole film. One scene – Aniston’s much ballyhooed strip scene – is indicative of the effort put in overall.
It comes out of nowhere, does almost nothing to solve the problems of the main group, and exists simply to show Aniston in skimpy underwear. Eye candy can be fun, but when the rest of the film contains little that’s funny, it’s hard to get worked up over it.
The low-quality script is made more disappointing by the poor light in which it shows otherwise good actors. Sudeikis, Aniston, Roberts, Helms, Nick Offerman and Kathryn Hahn are among those who perhaps thought they were signing on to a better movie than they got.
There’s very little that’s redeeming about We’re the Millers, including Aniston's performance. With three films currently in production, she has yet to wear out her Hollywood welcome, but that time could be coming soon.