Action, 131 Minutes, 2013
Both Jason Sudeikis [IMDB] and Jennifer Aniston [IMDB] can be hit or miss. Aniston, particularly, is known for making many perfectly average – and perfectly bland – comedies. Harmless enough, true, but nothing special. Going in to this, therefore, I was hoping for nothing more than a decent time-waster and a few chuckles. Instead, I’ll happily admit, this ended up being pretty damn hilarious.
Sudeikis plays David, a small-time, but successful, drug dealer. He’s an old veteran at the game and in something of a comfortable, selfish rut. When his stash and savings are stolen he ends up owing big to his eccentric supplier who demands that he pay his debt by smuggling a shipment of pot in from Mexico. In a stroke of insight David convinces his down-on-her-luck stripper neighbor, Rose (Aniston), the neglected geek from downstairs and a local runaway to pose as his straight-laced family to distract authorities for the run.
The progress of the movie is straightforward and fairly predictable. There are some twists and turns, but nothing too complicated or convoluted. Along the way the fake family overcomes a collection of obstacles and meets an assortment of oddballs. They also, you’ll not be surprised to learn, begin to mature as individuals and come together in a meaningful way. None of this is an issue: this is a straight, unapologetic comedy. The plot is around to hang the gags on, pure and simple.
For the most part those gags are pretty damn good! Sure, there are few stinkers, but more hit than miss and a few are real gems. One of the absolute highlights are extended appearances by Nick Offerman [IMDB] and Kathryn Hahn [IMDB] as exactly the kind of family that David is desperate to mimic. Neither Offerman or Hahn step out of their comfort zones, but their normal shticks mesh perfectly and hilariously. The humor ranges from surprisingly highbrow to decidedly lowbrow with a healthy dose of physical comedy tossed in. As an added bonus, Aniston, for those interested, also does one hell of striptease.
The movie has enough heart to give it a feel-good ending without getting too cloying. It also has enough confidence to stretch out for some really risky laughs, most of which pay off handsomely. It isn’t going to be anyone’s favorite but it is damn funny. What more could you want?