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Fifty hours in a broken-down RV beats two with We're the Millers

Millers' Double Crossing

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Well, folks, we're down to the home stretch of the summer movie season, which means only one thing: the really shitty movies are gonna start showing up. Right on cue, here's We're the Millers, a new comedy that comes out of the gate reeking of awfulness. A shaggy-haired Jason Sudeikis stars as a small-time, YouTube-watching weed dealer who gets his money and his product stolen by (very unconvincing) street punks. Unfortunately, the money and the weed belonged to his powerful connection (Ed Helms — amusingly douchey, at least), who tells him the only way he can clear his debt is if he moves "a smidge" of marijuana from Mexico across the border in an RV. Reluctantly accepting the job, our protagonist assumes the role of a clean-cut suburbanite and rounds up an unlikely crew of people — his stripper-next-door neighbor (Jennifer Aniston), a surly homeless girl (Emma Roberts), a naïve neighbor kid (Will Poulter) — to pass for his family and throw authorities off his scent.

Directed by Rawson Marshall Thurber, whose comic chops have rusted since 2004's Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story, Millers aims for the kind of R-rated on-the-road hijinks that National Lampoon's Vacation delivered with more freshness 30 years ago. The result, however, seems more like a ripoff of the pungent Robin Williams vehicle RV, only worse. It even has a similar clan of annoyingly sunny travelers (led by Nick Offerman and Kathryn Hahn — thank God they're here!) who turn up more frequently on this roadway odyssey than Stuckey's. And as with so many mainstream comedies these days, the raunchiness in Millers seems pitifully forced. It's bad enough that Sudeikis and Aniston — who, judging from her scantily clad dance routines, must've agreed to do this to show audiences her still-banging 40-something body — are unconvincing as foul-mouthed, hard-luck cynics craving some normalcy. But Thurber and the quartet of writers equate a carpet F-bombing with laughs, and it just comes off as lazy and desperate. Breaking Bad returns to AMC this weekend; if any movie is going to peel away TV viewers and lure them back to theaters, it isn't We're the Millers.

Email arts@nashvillescene.com.

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