We’re the Millers

  • Genre: Comedy
  • Runtime: 110 min
  • Year: 2013
Cast:  , ,

We're the Millers movie poster

There isn’t any doubt that Jennifer Aniston has been the queen of the modern romantic comedy in the last decade. And there’s no denying her general acting talent far beyond what we’ve seen in too few dramatic performances. That’s why it might be off-putting to some seeing the red-band trailer for one of her comedy films “We’re the Millers” showing Aniston playing a stripper.

Mind you, movie comedy is on the path now where someone playing a foul-mouthed striptease performer doesn’t bat an eye. It might even be considered mild when you go by the Seth Rogen and Judd Apatow frame of mind for the romantic comedy. Still, associating Aniston with the role of a stripper somewhat lessens any sense of classiness that she’s mostly kept in her films other than Horrible Bosses.

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There seems to be something increasingly appealing about portraying strippers in movies that’s attracting more and more surprising actors. After all, nobody would have thought a decade ago that Matthew McConaughey would create an iconic character. “Magic Mike” somehow managed to be a stripper movie with some meaning as a differing path for the genre.

Not that most movies about strippers haven’t attempted a serious edge, despite plots about strippers ending up on the same contrived trajectory. The modern equivalent of how we view the female teaser arguably started when Elizabeth Berkeley took it nearly all the way in 1995’s “Showgirls.” And Natalie Portman perhaps began some acting prestige to the movie with “Closer” nearly a decade later. Marisa Tomei even managed an Oscar nomination not long ago for playing in “The Wrestler.”

But the bulk of most stripper movies are intended to be full-fledged excuses for an actress to show her assets and fronts. As well, the dramatic story of Aniston facing the likelihood of being washed up for her industry has possibly been played out. Now the only thing left is comedy.

Enter the last person we’d expect to show up to this forum: Jennifer Aniston. Based on the trailer to We’re the Millers, those who ever wanted to watch Aniston strip have plenty of chances. It could also be the most unlikeable role she’s ever done based on her character description being noted as a “cynical stripper.” With the twist of her being recruited by a pot dealer to impersonate a normal wife, it could at least reinvent the stripper movie to places it hasn’t gone.
Can Aniston help stripper movies transition into the world of satire rather than tragedy? Danger always lurks in making a character unlikeable from first description. And making Aniston annoyingly cynical may backfire rather than help anything.

Regardless, Aniston perhaps needs a change after more or less playing the same type of character in most of her romantic comedies. Plus, she couldn’t have been believable playing a stripper in a drama without audiences thinking it as derivative.

It may simply be Aniston making another brief stop along the way to do the overly raunchy comedy that she’s mostly avoided until recently. Her legacy from that might be our future view of a stripper pole garnering a guffaw rather than as something erotic or as a symbol of tackiness.