Despite a lukewarm reception from critics, the Jason Sudeikis/Jennifer Aniston R-rated comedy We’re the Millers made over $26 million in its opening weekend, finishing just shy of Giant Cylinder Malibu (Elysium). Millers has its flaws, but it’s easy to see why audiences had so much fun. Theaters were packed all weekend with young herds looking for boobs, raunch, and Nick Offerman (not necessarily in that order) and by all means, We’re The Millers delivered. It’s the kind of movie that’d play better in a crowded theater when you’re not exactly sober than it might if you Redboxed it eight months later on a quiet Tuesday. There are plenty of movies like that. I remember enjoying last summer’s Ted much more in the theater thanks to an infectious audience vibe; then when I saw it alone on cable all I wanted to do was pick it apart.
We’re the Millers rolls along on a wryly low-key shared sense of “Why not?” — and truly, why not this movie, in the middle of August when all we really want is some air-conditioning and the chance to laugh? It’s got a few really funny one-liners, some gross gags, and the occasional surprisingly sweet “family” moments that were sentimental without being corny. I felt like I was watching a few different movies, to be honest, as it kept switching gears, losing steam, then revving back up again.
It wasn’t a knockout for me, but there was a lot I liked. Some dank nugs:
Jason Sudekis and Jennifer Aniston’s chemistry I guess I’m a huge sap, but since no one in this weed movie ever got stoned (?!), this was the best part for me. As soon as the Horrible Bosses costars struck up their antagonistic yet clearly sexually charged flirting (by their building’s mailboxes) that David (THE DRUG DEALER) and Rose (THE STRIPPER) been engaging in for years, I was in it to win it with them as a will-they-won’t-they couple. But the movie didn’t hammer us over the head with that prospect at all. One of my favorite moments was when David trailed off after recalling fondly that on the day he met Rose, she was wearing shorts with “no pockets on the back — I don’t know how that happened…. She looked beautiful.” It was such a simple thing to say but his delivery made me feel all the feelings. David and Rose’s completely silent “I’m not yelling at you!” argument through the RV’s window (as they watched their “son” Kenny fail to kiss Molly Quinn — Castle‘s daughter!) was another choice chemistry lesson.
These two would definitely work well in a more muted romantic dramedy that’s not so focused on ball humor. For some reason I keep thinking that Sudeikis — who’s so not outlandish in his delivery — could maybe pull off something like Will Ferrell’s role in Stranger Than Fiction as a more muted leading man. Like, he doesn’t even have to be making jokes. He just is funny in a subtle way merely by reacting to things. At some points in We’re the Millers, Sudeikis reminded me so much of Jon Krasinski, it was insane.
Jennifer Aniston stripping, all Flashdance-like I’m sorry, but she’s good at it! (Being naked. Not dancing, really. That’s J. Beals all the way. In fact it’s not even close — which actually makes the whole Millers scene funnier.) I find it annoying that a lot of people seem to be calling Aniston’s stripping antics “desperate.” The lady looks hot and takes her clothes off in an intentionally campy scene. It’s in the script. It’s a harmless gag. She chose the role. Can people just calm down about it? This is not the end of civilization as we know it. At this point I’m not sure what civilization even means.
Will Poulter! The British teenager (check him out as Dean in 2012’s Will Bill) played THE VIRGIN in We’re The Millers (does being a virgin at 18 really make one an outcast?) and delivered the performance of one year of a lifetime by expertly rapping the breakdown section of TLC’s “Waterfalls.” The guy has this incredible, wide-ranging face that just seems to smile with conjured-up excitement all on its own. Those eyebrows! Anyway, Will is adorable and his character Kenny emerges early on as the ever-engorging heart of the film. And if you’re not into ’90s girl groups, allow Will Poulter to offer you…
‘White Nerd Testicle Fail’ Who doesn’t love one of those? Kenny THE VIRGIN gamely stayed alive after a tarantula even bigger and hungrier than the one who tormented Kevin in Home Alone bit Kenny in the balls until they swelled up to the size of a cantaloupe. Eat it, Ben Stiller in There’s Something About Mary! This guy went full frontal. (Of course, Poulter wore a prosthetic piece for this scene, and I’m guessing that in the spirit of Scotty P, he has NO RAGRETS on that decision.)
Nick Offerman and Kathryn Hahn as dorky Midwestern road-trippers with a not-too-surprising kinky side and, come midnight at a campsite, the urge to swing. Sure, some of the gags felt forced, but It’s just great to see these two hilarious actors in anything. The pair’s special cozy time with Sudeikis and Aniston climaxed as Nick wiggled his finger into Jason’s ear and Kathryn shoved her hands onto Jen’s boobs — but I got a much bigger chuckle out of a throwaway, improv-ed line: Offerman’s understated guess during the group’s Win, Lose, or Draw game: “Clown Sandwich.”
Meanwhile, Hahn’s character Edie went pretty over-the-top with all her sexual hangups and tired “hot dog in a hallway” jokes. Between this movie and The Heat, my tolerance for huge-vagina humor has gone from technical to nonexistent, much like Dionne’s virgiinity in Clueless. Maybe I should blame my vagina, because that’s what women are supposed to do to seem funny!
Weed baby named LeBron “The Mrs. has a soft spot for primadonnas who’ll never be as good as Jordan,” David explained to Don and Edie.
Still Friends? During the end credits, the cast and crew punked Aniston by blasting The Rembrandts’ “I’ll Be There For You” in the RV — she made a faux-poutyface and clearly loooooved it. And it’s official: She wishes Friends never ended.
Three words Black. C*ck. Down. Oh and do you like jokes about anal sex? You will LOVE this movie.
Anything to add? Clown sandwich? Discuss!