You have to feel bad for Jennifer Aniston … it's one thing for the critics to make fun of your acting. But panning your stripping? That's got to hurt!
Aniston gets top billing in the new comedy "We're The Millers," in which she plays Rose, a hard-bitten exotic dancer who is recruited by her neighbor David (Jason Sudeikis) to impersonate his wife as he trues to smuggle an RV full of marijuana across the Mexican border. At one point in the movie, Rose is required to show off her talents as a peeler, and several critics are giving Aniston low marks for her stripping.
Todd McCarthy in the Hollywood Reporter says Aniston "may well be the least convincing down-and-out bump-and-grinder in screen history. All of about five seconds are devoted to showing Rose at work going through her motions wearing far more than most soccer moms usually wear at public swimming pools."
Alonso Duralde in The Wrap agrees that Aniston seems a bit too modest for the role. "Her character exists in that bizarro movie world … where all strippers wear bras throughout their routines," Duralde said.
Kyle Smith in the New York Post is mean enough to bring Aniston's age into the argument. "As for Aniston’s much-hyped stripping routine (down to her undies) … it’s as sad as her hula dance in 'Just Go With It," Smith writes. "For young actresses to disrobe in exchange for attention is tradition. For 44-year-olds, it’s desperation."
Mick LaSalle makes a similar point in the San Francisco Gate, though he's a good bit kinder. "[Aniston's] stripping scenes aren't flattering," LaSalle says. "It's not that she doesn't look good -- actually, she looks great -- but there's an age at which silly and flamboyant display makes emotional and aesthetic sense, and whatever that age is, it's really, really young. However, on her resume, Aniston can now check off pole dancing."
And in perhaps the gentlest assessment of Aniston's strip scene so far, Justin Chang in Variety points his finger at the filmmakers, not the star. "Aniston … proves far more game than the material deserves, especially when she’s forced to deliver a slow-motion striptease for the benefit of a Mexican drug lord, a weirdly conflicted scene in which the film seems to be pitying, mocking and exploiting her all at once," Chang writes.
If it's any consolation to Jen, nearly every major critic who has weighed in on "We're The Millers" so far has given it a big thumbs down (Joe Williams of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch called it "Nothing but stems and seeds, with less buzz than a bag of oregano," and his was one of the more favorable reviews). But if the producers of the movie were figuring having one of the sexiest women in Hollywood deliver a bit of spicy dancing would be a slum dunk with audiences … well, the professional viewers aren't buying it.
"We're The Millers" opens in theaters Wednesday, August 7.
Watch 'We're the Millers' Clip Monkey Maze: