A new red band trailer for the comedy We're The Millers was released today, and from the looks of it, Jennifer Aniston is giving the whole good-girl-gone-bad thing she tried two summers ago another try. In the trailer, Anisto swears, flips the bird, gives Sudeikis blow job pointers, and appears not once, but twice, in her undergarments — because she's a stripper, you see. The comedy reunites Aniston with her Horrible Bosses co-star Jason Sudeikis but, more importantly, gives her a second chance to play a sexed-up character after the mixed success of her Bosses role.
We're The Millers follows David (Sudeikis), a pot dealer who needs to transport an RV's worth of weed across the country. He enlists Aniston's stripper Rose and a couple of kids to form a fake family for a fake road trip. So Aniston's a good girl, playing a bad girl, pretending to be a good girl. From what we've seen, Aniston's Millers character's motivations at least appear to make sense — more than you can say for her Horrible Bosses role, a dentist who spent most of her screen time nonsensically sexually harassing Charlie Day's character.
While Horrible Bosses was reasonably well-received — it was a hit and currently has a 69 percent rating on Rotten Tomatoes — Aniston's part was met with pity, scorn or tepid praise depending on the critic. Mike LaSalle and the San Francisco Chronicle lightly praised her performance and said her scenes "play off against her wholesome image ... and benefit from her comic timing." Several critics, however, found the role underdeveloped. Elizabeth Weitzman at the New York Daily News wrote that "Aniston commits fully to a truly thankless role; surely there are better ways to shed her good-girl image than by desperately molesting the whiny Day." One of the most damning reviews came from Will Leitch, writing for Yahoo's movie blog. "As encouraging as it is to see Aniston — a naturally funny but notoriously buttoned-up actress — letting her freak flag fly [...] the role, quite simply, makes no sense," Leitch writes. And while it's of course not entirely Aniston's fault that he role wasn't as developed as it could have been, maybe the blame does ultimately fall with her. Leitch continued:
The film hasn't thought about Aniston's character one step past "she just wants to have sex all the time," and no matter how hard Aniston tries, the role's inherent limitations can't help but make her look silly, desperate and, all told, sort of offensive. It's not necessarily her fault, but hey, she signed on for the part.
Based on this admittedly brief glimpse of We're the Millers, Aniston seems to have picked a much better "bad" role this time around. The funniest part of the Millers trailer might just be when Aniston gives a deadpan delivery of a prayer that nearly brings a female flight attendant to tears. As the two ladies hug it out, Aniston flips off Sudeikis and mouths "Fuck you." It's funny, but more importantly it's believable, this fake wife/stripper playing at piousness and hating every minute of it. She's a sexual, raunchy person, but in a way that a real person, not the imagined dream girl of a single 35-year-old who lives at home, might be. If Aniston is determined to buck a years-long persona and really go bad, this trailer suggests she may have found her true opportunity.
We're The Millers is out August 7.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.