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Review: 'We're the Millers' travels light

By Michelle F. Solomon, Contributing writer
Published On: Aug 12 2013 12:06:31 PM CDT
We're The Millers

Warner Bros. Entertainment

If you need a good laugh and aren't looking for anything that's going to tax your brain this summer, "We're the Millers" fits the bill.

Jennifer Aniston teams up with "Saturday Night Live's" Jason Sudeikis for a comedy about a bunch of misfits who are tossed together by a low-level marijuana dealer to pose as a family in order to help him smuggle drugs from Mexico.

Written by Bob Fisher and Steve Faber ("The Wedding Crashers") and Sean Anders and John Morris ("Hot Tub Time Machine"), it's hard to believe it took four writers to come up with this sometimes formulaic script. With that kind of brain meld, you'd expect a laugh a minute. But after the initial set up and road-trip gags, the "Millers" quickly runs out of gas.

Aniston and Sudeikis have good chemistry, but the "Friends" star's character, Rose, is so thinly written that all she really has to do is look good (which she does). A "Flashdance"-esque dance scene by Aniston, where she performs a tame stripper pole dance, is well choreographed, but comes off as a cheap attempt to add some sex appeal to the movie. Well, when you've got the sexiest woman in Hollywood on your marquee, guess you need to make the most of it. But overall, sophomoric humor is the recipe, including an awkward side story about a geeked out family that befriends the Millers then wants to be swingers with the couple.

Julia Roberts's niece, Emma Roberts, is perfectly angst-ridden as a homeless girl who wants to make a quick buck by posing as part of the wholesome family foursome. British actor Will Poulter ("Son of Rambow") steals the movie. As awkward teen, Kenny, he balances just the right bit of dopey with some deft comic timing.

Cameo appearances live up to their expectations including Ed Helmes as a narcissistic drug kingpin and Luis Guzman as Mexican cop who isn't one to pass up a bribe.

"We're the Millers" does get credit for being a road trip comedy with an original story and there are some glimpses of hilarity. Yet, like the afterglow of the stuff that David Clark peddles, the problem with this film is it's easily forgettable a few minutes after you leave the theater.