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Match Play is a golf/suspense novel. Dust of Autumn is a bloody one set in upstate New York. Prairie View is set in South Dakota, with a final scene atop Rattlesnake Butte. Life in the Arbor is a children's book about Rollie Rabbit and his friends (on about a fourth grade level). The Black Widow involves an elaborate extortion scheme. Doggy-Dog World is my memoir. And ES3 is a description of my method for examining English sentence structure.
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My newest novel, Happy Valley, can be found here.

Thursday, September 19

We're the Millers

In the old old days, Hollywood might have given us a plot in which a group of disparate characters forms a false family to solve a mutual problem, like a fake Brady Bunch on a tv families-only scavenger hunt, the winner to receive a million bucks. Lots of bickering about who does what, who gets what, lots of hilarious complications in the search. But the audience knew which family would win and how the bonding would result in romantic ties among the familial-fakers. But the language would be Fifties or Sixties acceptable and the banana skin flops wouldn’t reveal Marsha’s bare bottom. Not so with the Millers in We’re the Millers. No scavenger hunt here. Instead, a trip to Mexico to smuggle back into the U.S. a “smidge-and-a-half” of prime Mexican weed. David Clark (Jason Sudeikis), a small-time pot dealer, has to find a family group to take with him as cover for the smuggle. He has to take on this hazardous task to pay off a debt to his drug dealer. Jennifer Anniston plays Rose O’Reilly, a down-on-her-luck, pole-dancing, lap-dancing stripper, a role that’s about as jarringly wrong for this girl-next-door Friend as one could imagine. At least Anniston refused to do any nude scenes, although she comes pretty-woman close. She’s lost all her money to a boyfriend who cleaned her out before he took off, and she’s locked out of her apartment. Kenny (Will Poulter), an eighteen-year-old virgin, is alone after his mother leaves on an extended date, so he agrees to be David’s son. And Casey (Emma Roberts), a street-wise, body-pierced, Adams family lookalike, for $1,000, agrees to play his daughter. Clean them all up and they become the nerd-worthy Millers, all set to drive a huge rental RV to pick up what turns out to be two tons of pot. There were some genuinely funny bits along the way, but maybe not enough to make it worth your while to see this movie. Sort of like The Heat with Sandra Bullock and Melissa McCarthy, sort of funny but really forgettable. One funny bit found David and Rose sneaking into Don Fitzgerald’s tent to steal his RV keys, only to have both Don and wife Edie wake up and assume they’re there for a little swinging couples stuff. Edie (Katharyn Hahn) wants only to stroke Rose’s breasts (through her shirt, naturally) while Don (Nick Offerman) ogles, giving David a suggestive wet willy. The Fitzgeralds are fellow Mexican travelers who help the Millers when their RV blows a gasket. Don is a vacationing DEA agent, and provides the tension between the law and the Millers' drug smuggling. Another funny moment involved Casey and Rose's teaching son Kenny how to kiss. I’m pretty sure Will Poulter might have been willing to give up his salary in exchange for that lesson with Anniston, maybe even pay a bit of his own money. Is this movie worth seeing? Yeah, as long as you don’t expect fall-down, belly-laugh shtick.
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