'We're The Millers' Movie Review: A Predictable Comedy With A Side of Laughter
Saturday Night Live alum Jason Sudeikis and funny gal Jennifer Aniston serve up a raunchy good time with We’re the Millers. Directed by Rawson Marshall Thurber (Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story), We’re the Millers centers on David (Sudeikis), a Denver pot dealer who is in $43,000 debt to his supplier Brad (Ed Helms). In order to settle his debt with his dealer he must smuggle a tiny (or so he thinks) amount of pot over the Mexican border, all the while remaining inconspicuous. To keep his cover David enlists his stripper neighbor Rose (Aniston), Kenny (Will Poulter), a dorky teenage boy who idolizes him, and a troublesome teenage girl, Casey (Emma Roberts), to pose as his quaint Pleasantville family simply taking a nice family road trip.
The film sees Sudeikis and Aniston back together after the commercial success of their 2011 comedy Horrible Bosses, and Sudeikis proves that he can headline a movie fresh off his SNL exit. The road trip film is completely predictable, and in a lot of ways mirrors a film that some have already seen, 2013’s Identity Thief starring Jason Bateman and Melissa McCarthy. Though dangerously similar to Bateman and McCarthy’s flick, We’re the Millers delivers a generous amount of laughs, mostly due to the comedic genius of Poulter and Helms, who completely steal the scene whenever they have something to say. Aniston is funny in her own right, but her roles are becoming more and more typical these days, and I wonder if her role would’ve been funnier if she played a real suburban housewife forced to help smuggle drugs, rather than a diluted stripper along for the ride.
About half an hour into the film you know as an audience exactly what you’re going to get—crude, lewd, slightly offensive jokes that you can’t help but giggle at, only to find yourself feeling a little guilty afterwards. Sudeikis’ character is just an amoral sleaze who is totally insincere in just about everything he says, making you as an audience enthralled by him. That is until the script clearly takes a turn and all the characters start to show signs of emotions and feelings that inevitably slows the comedy down with sympathy for the characters.
What could’ve made the film stronger is more conviction on Sudeikis’ side to really push his character to the limits, and show just how dirty he was willing to get his hands to eliminate his debt. Other actors foot the bill where Sudeikis couldn’t, such Nick Offerman and Kathryn Hahn, who play a vacationing family that bond with the Millers. Offerman funnily enough portrays a DEA agent, while Hahn is his uptight yet ready to experiment wife. Those two together as a couple alone killed it with laughs, while Aniston and Sudeikis did their part to increase the funny tension between the two couples.
What made the film weren’t its two headliners, but the supporting actors. Like Roberts—shockingly playing a jaded teen better than anyone else could’ve – and Poulter, who really made you believe he was a naïve virgin in real life. We’re the Millers is in no way a well made film, let alone a revolutionary comedy, but it is one of those films that you just have to see if you’re a fan of either Sudeikis or Aniston. Their partnership in Horrible Bosses was incredibly superior in terms of both roles and comedic effort, but their portrayals of a drug dealer and stripper aren’t a complete disappointment either.
Filled with occasional gut wrenching laughs, and most often small smirk accompanied giggles, the film is a good time. But surprisingly enough, the funniest part of We’re the Millers wasn’t even in the movie. The outtakes, shown above the credits, were very funny and made you wonder why the filmmakers didn’t try to weasel those pieces into the movie anywhere they could. It might’ve been a mistake to show audiences who paid to see a movie, and then watched 109 minutes of mediocre laughs, the best comedic moments during the credits. When the best time you have seeing a film is watching the credits role, there’s something wrong. And that’s a problem that no moviegoer wants to experience.
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