We’re the Millers (2013)

If Anyone Asks

Nine years ago director Rawson Marshall Thurber surprised everyone with his comedy hit Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story (2004), now after a lengthy hiatus, spent making several shorts, Marshall is back with the new feature, We’re the Millers.

David Clark, (Jason Sudeikis) is a small time drug dealer without a care in the world; he makes a living by selling little bits of pot to local customers and works for his scumbag boss Brad Gurdlinger (Ed Helms). After being robbed, David is forced by Brad to go to Mexico to pick up a load of marijuana. In order to improve his odds of making it past the border, David asks the broke stripper Rose O’Reilly (Jennifer Aniston), his neighbour, virgin teenager Kenny Rossmore (Will Poulter) and local ‘gutter punk’ Casey Mathis (Emma Roberts) to join him and pretend they’re on a family holiday.

Ya'll come back now ...
Ya’ll come back now …

While the premise of We’re the Millers is quite original, the way the movie plays out is somewhat cliché, as viewers are more than likely able to predict what’s going to happen as far as the progression of emotion between the characters goes. At first they don’t get along but after spending some time together begin to bond and develop an uncanny friendship, later discovering the ulterior agenda of a particular character (who in this case is David), which ultimately upsets the group; you know the drill. So this is pretty much your run of the mill, dysfunctional family comedy.

What elevates We’re the Millers above other generic comedies is the first-rate dynamic between its leads and solid performances by the cast who create characters that audiences might actually like, can relate too or even care about. Jason Sudeikis, Hall Pass (2011), pretty much anchors the show with his engaging portrayal of Dave, a narcissistic person, who lives for himself but later proves that he can look-out for others. Co-star Jennifer Aniston, Horrible Bosses (2011), also has fun with her role as the fiery stripper Rose and builds a great chemistry between Sudeikis and the rest of the Miller family along the way. Nick Offerman, 21 Jump Street (2012) and Kathryn Hahn, Step Brothers (2008), who appear in the film as the Fitzgerald’s, a couple vacationing in an RV who run into the Millers on their way home from Mexico, play it a tad too nutty, but are a welcome addition to the film when it seems to be heading into a road block.

Practicing her Jennifer Beals moves ...
Practicing her Jennifer Beals moves …

Although, not quite ‘lough-out-loud’ funny, We’re the Millers does have some great comedic moments, predominantly scenes that contain heavy interaction between the leads and actors, with a genuinely hilarious moment involving a street punk, Scottie P. who wants to take Casey Mathis out on a date and a sequence where the Millers accidentally join the Fitzgerald’s for an awkward swingers gathering, being real highlights. There are also some great set pieces along the way with Aniston doing a random striptease at the film’s midway mark to prove that she’s still got it, while a car chase involving a deadly tarantula and Kenny’s gentiles feels inserted just for its gross-out factor. A series of bloopers are shown during the final credits, with the cast playing a clever but amusing prank on Jennifer Aniston, validating the high energy and laughs on set, which really translates to the screen.

While far from original, We’re the Millers is an enjoyable trip to take, it skilfully finishes with a hint of a possible sequel or even a future franchise, which would be more than welcome given the imminent possibilities for the future of this dysfunctional family.

3 / 5 – Good

Reviewed by Mr. Movie

We’re the Millers is released through Warner Bros. Home Entertainment