On the road with Jason Sudeikis and Jennifer Aniston in We’re the Millers

by Mark Burger

We’re the Millers is an intermittently entertaining high-concept comedy in which most of the best gags are in the trailer. The cast is agreeable enough, with each actor enjoying appealing and funny moments, but the overall film is hardly a stretch for anyone — including the audience.

“Saturday Night Live” alumni Jason Sudeikis plays David, a Denver dope dealer coerced into making a drug run when his stash is stolen. Recruiting Jennifer Aniston (the stripper next door), Emma Roberts (street urchin) and Will Poulter (teen geek) to pose as his wife and children, David decamps for Mexico in pursuit of that wacky weed.

The film, in which four writers are credited, tends to play it safe.

There are some raunchy bits, to be sure, but on the whole We’re the Millers is fairly standard sitcom material. That the “family” members come to develop some sense of familial affection (of a sort) is hardly a surprise, and although they’re ostensibly on a time limit to get back to the US, director Rawson Marshall Thurber brings no sense of urgency, comedic or otherwise, to the proceedings.

At times, Sudeikis seems to be channeling Chevy Chase from the Vacation movies (which is only fitting) and at others he plays it like Ed Helms — which is interesting because Helms is actually in the movie, picking up an easy check for an extended cameo as the very drug kingpin who sends David on his cross-country jaunt.

Roberts and Aniston essay their roles without fuss (and both are certainly easy on the eyes), while Poulter does his share of scene-stealing. Nick Offerman and Kathryn Hahn turn up as a goofy couple vacationing with their daughter (Molly Quinn), and it turns out that he’s a DEA agent on suspension. Surprising? Not really. Nor all that funny, really.