We're The Millers, a comedy set to mix the sleazy humour from The Hangover with weekend family on-the-couch TV sitcoms, has done for the critics what it set out to do – make them laugh. Directed by Rawson Marshall Thurber, the film may not be the greatest comedy of all times, or of 2013, but it is comedy nonetheless, they say.
"It's a goofy road movie with some nice gags. Hang on for the outtake bloopers over the credits and you'll see Aniston momentarily unsure how to take a joke at her expense," writes Peter Bradshaw in The Guardian.
"Though incredibly predictable from start to finish, We’re the Millers did make me laugh," accepts Kara Nesvig grudgingly in Star Tribune.
"The humor is fast-paced more often than it is shticky, rude and ribald with more than a few incest jokes. Sudeikis is charming with his toothpaste-commercial smile. His “children,” Roberts and Poulter, are fun to watch. Aniston seems far more comfortable in her “Mom” disguise of Capri pants than she does in stripper-wear. Is Jennifer Aniston funny, or does she just have great hair? I guess that’s the eternal question," Nesvig ponders.
Andrew O'Hehir seems to answer her question in Salon.com. "It had to happen eventually: Jennifer Aniston has made a funny movie (and also, it seems, a hit)."
"(We're The Millers) doesn’t try to deliver any sort of positive social message and suggests that people with real marriages and families are faking it too, pretty much the way dead-end dope dealer David (Sudeikis) and broke, jilted stripper Rose (Aniston) do. Maybe that’s why I liked it," he adds.
So the film has a deeper meaning?
"Get past the comedy and there's something almost weird at the movie's core - a deep cynicism about family and a longing for family, both at the same time. But the screenplay is too much of a patchwork to express anything deep or unconscious," notes Mick LaSalle in SF Chronicle.
"We're the Millers is right down the middle, sometimes crude to be crude, sometimes finding humor in the crude world we live in. Sometimes it's labored, sometimes it's funny. Sometimes it feels like four people worked on the screenplay and not one of them loved it, and sometimes it sneaks up and finds a laugh or two," LaSalle adds.
So then, is it worth a watch?
Chris Tookey of Daily Mail nods. "The script development is funnier and more ingenious than you might expect, and the actors have the comic timing to pull off most of it," he writes.
"The standout is the young British actor Poulter, who finds sweetness, depth and complexity in a role that might have been clichéd. Aniston is a better comedienne than most people realise and has perfected the art of the quizzical reaction shot."
Rotten Tomatoes gives the film an uncertain 47% on the tomatometer with the comment, "Blandly offensive (or perhaps merely offensively bland), We're The Millers squanders its potential -- and its cast -- with an uneven, lazily assembled comedy."
But I suppose you could go watch it for a laugh, eh?