CHICAGO – “Drinking Buddies” director Joe Swanberg’s latest release of the same star wattage is “Happy Christmas,” an even lower-fi story than the Olivia Wilde beer comedy, steered even more by the casting that it was able to assemble. However, with this movie Swanberg doesn’t so much worry about having a story that could be confused with a more mainstream romantic comedy if it were to have a bigger budget.
Film Review: Horrible ‘We’re the Millers’ Wastes Huge Potential
CHICAGO – There was a point in “We’re the Millers” when the story fell off the table like a Slinky from a mountaintop. It’s as if other writers took over from a far superior dark comedy, and injected “heart” and middle age “stripping.” This all adds up to a difficult 110 minutes of lost life time.
What began with decent laughs and with Jason Sudeikis rattling off fast-talk dialogue like he was in a demented Howard Hawks movie, turns into a domestic comedy of the stupidest order, with an idiot plot that defies logic, gravity and star power. Jennifer Aniston does the obligatory last “rebellious” role as a stripper who never takes her clothes off, before she is destined for mommy roles or another sitcom, playing a mommy. The rest of the embarrassed cast – with attention particularly paid to Ed Helms and Luis Guzmán – trot out the lame situations with the low energy of tree sloths. This stuff has visible beads of sweat on its brow, and in desperation ends with some outtakes which just put an unfunny cherry on top of the crap cake.
Jason Sudeikis is David Clark, a burnt out smalltime pot dealer who never found time for a wife. He needs to collect 400 bucks from his neighbor Rose (Jennifer Aniston), a stripper at a club where no clothes past the underwear is shed. The menagerie of the rest of the apartment building includes a tense 18 year old Kenny (Will Poulter) – whose mother is never home – and Casey (Emma Roberts), the resident homeless runaway.
Besides Rose owing David money, David owes his pot distributor Brad (Ed Helms) some big bucks, and is broke due to some street thugs stealing both his stash and money. Brad offers David a way out. If he can transport a “smidgen” of marijuana from Mexico, his debt not only will be forgiven, but he would be paid extra. This motivates the small timer to recruit Rose, Kenny and Casey as his fake family, as he figures an RV with a typical family unit would most likely be allowed through a border check. Nothing can go wrong, can it?
Photo credit: Warner Bros.