We’re the Millers Review
by Delon Villanueva
As we come closer to the end of the season, we have what promises to be a late summer comedy hit, We’re the Millers. It stars Jason Sudeikis and Jennifer Aniston, who were both last seen together in 2011’s successful summer comedy, Horrible Bosses. The movie also stars Emma Roberts and Will Poulter, two young actors who both make their transition into the raunchy R-rated comedy genre. The film is directed by Rawson Marshall Thurber, whose last comedy was Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story, back in 2004. Audiences’ tastes in humor have changed a lot since then, so with a cast like this, expectations are quite positive. Although its potential isn’t really fulfilled, We’re the Millers gets just enough laughs to do the trick.
Jason Sudeikis plays David, a drug dealer who is robbed of all his earnings by a group of young thugs. This leads to David’s supplier, Brad (Ed Helms), asking to do one job for him, in order to pay off his losses. David must travel across the border to Mexico and pick up a “smidge” of marijuana. If he does this, David gets paid back big time, but how can he possibly get away with it? To fly past the border, he gets the help of a stripper (Jennifer Aniston), the nerdy virgin next door (Will Poulter), and a rebellious teenage runaway (Emma Roberts), to pretend to be his wholesome family. Together, they are the Millers. David’s plan starts off much more smoothly than he expected, but it’s only a matter of time before he starts to attract unneeded attention…particularly with a Mexican drug lord (Tomer Sisley).
Like all R-rated comedies, We’re the Millers promises some dirty, dirty gags, and it definitely doesn’t shy away from that. Although some of the best jokes and scenes are revealed in the trailers and commercials, there’s still a decent chunk of laughs, including one specific sequence involving Will Poulter’s character Kenny getting advice on how to kiss a girl from Emma Roberts and Jennifer Aniston. It’s one of the many moments in the screenplay, written by two comedic duos (Bob Fisher & Steve Faber of Wedding Crashers, and Sean Anders & John Morris of Hot Tub Time Machine), where it knows how to play up the comic stakes. Even though the movie’s humor is rather flat and forced for most of the first act (and maybe even part of the second), the screenplay still can cleverly build tension throughout the Millers’ road trip.
The actors, for the most part, are good in what their roles are, but there aren’t necessarily any memorable performances. Jason Sudeikis is about as funny as he normally is in most of his movies and Jennifer Aniston continues to step out of her comfort zone, although at this point, there’s not much else she can do after her role in Horrible Bosses. Emma Roberts, an actress I usually don’t care much for when on screen, isn’t bad here, either. Though the best out of the leads is easily Will Poulter as Kenny. He’s charming as the socially inept teen, without being totally obnoxious. In terms of the supporting roles, Nick Offerman and Kathryn Hahn play a super-friendly married couple that the Millers run into, and are also quite funny. Seriously, Nick Offerman steals every scene he’s in. He needs to be in more movies.
There’s not much else that can be said about We’re the Millers, other than it’s a funny R-rated summer comedy that should generally hold the interest of those who are looking forward to it. If the trailers didn’t convince you the first time, you’ll be sorely disappointed if you pay to see it. Though since this summer has been rather weak, in terms of comedies (Grown Ups 2 has grossed $138 million worldwide…and counting), if you’re desperate to see a comedy in theaters right now, you can’t really go wrong with this one.