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‘We're the Millers’ covers familiar terrain, but still a trip worth taking

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Photo: Warner Bros.

 

Vulgar, funny, and undeniably entertaining, We’re the Millers gets considerable mileage out of its X-rated road trip hijinks. Fueled by great cast chemistry, some hilarious sight gags and a red-hot Jennifer Aniston striptease equipped with chains and live sparks (true story) We're the Millers is a comedy surprise in the homestretch of summer.

 

Essentially a cross-country family vacation adventure laced with acid, the plot follows amateur pot dealer David (Jason Sudeikis) as he strives to smuggle pot across the Mexican border. When a robbery depletes all his cash savings and drug stash, David finds himself in further trouble when his bigwig client (an unfunny Ed Helms) calls on him for a massive chunk of change that's now missing.

 

Thus the seed for the road trip is planted when Brad (Helms) demands that David serve as his mule and smuggle some pot across the Mexican border hidden in an RV as a form of repayment. Realizing he will stick out like a sore thumb alone, David recruits others from his apartment building to pose as his “picture perfect” family in exchange for part of the cash reward. 

 

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We're the Millers benefits first and foremost from a great cast that gels believably. Interestingly enough it's Sudeikis as the leading man who lacks some of the presence and command to pull it off completely. That said, his comic timing is great and he shares some good moments with Aniston, who plays stripper turned housewife Rose. Speaking of the former Friends star, she's pitch perfect as the foul mouthed Donna Reed, throwing out f-bombs and dick jokes with ease. Aniston’s over the top striptease moment is bound to leave audiences laughing and turned on at the same time (no easy feat).

 

Elsewhere, Emma Roberts as hobo thug Casey (Sudeikis quips "you look like Eminem from 8 Mile") and Will Poulter as the geek with a heart of gold also pill their weight adeptly. Poulter is particularly game, especially apparent in a raucous scene following a nasty tarantula bite to his male anatomy.

 

We're the Millers is nothing revolutionary. In fact, if you have seen the trailers, much of those big moments remain the funniest parts of the movie. But this is one of those well executed crowd pleasing experiences that is still worth going along for the ride.  Familiar or not, it’s a great time that overall pushes almost all the right comedy buttons.

 

They say a great family vacation is built not only on the experiences but the company you share them with. We're the Millers proves that point and thus becomes something scrapbook worthy in the end.


 Contact Jim Teti at jteti@philly2philly.com

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Photo: Warner Bros.