Film Review – We’re The Millers

We’re The Millers (MA)

Directed by: Rawson Marshall Thurber

Starring: Jason Sudeikis, Jennifer Aniston, Emma Roberts, Will Poulter

Three and a half stars

Review by: Julian Wright

We’re The Millers is the kind of comedy that really shouldn’t get a passing grade or a positive review. The script is simplistic, crude, predictable, at times stupid and the direction is so pedestrian that anyone could have plopped the camera in position and called “Action.” And yet here we are, three and a half stars awarded and an open confession that I laughed a lot. We’re the Millers proves that an average script can be elevated by a game cast and a few hilarious set pieces. Of course this is not an endorsement for script writers to start slacking off.

Career drug dealer David Clark (Jason Sudeikis) is robbed of all his weed and savings, so to make it up to his supplier Brad (Ed Helms) he agrees to smuggle a “smidge and a half” of marijuana across the Mexico border. Convinced that a single white male travelling to and from Mexico is sure to raise alarm bells, he recruits two neighbours Rose (Jennifer Aniston) and Kenny (Will Poulter) and a runaway Casey (Emma Roberts) to pose as his wholesome family. Rose is a stripper who is being evicted, Casey has nowhere else to go and nerdy Kenny has been left home alone by his parents so he is just up for an adventure. Of course, smuggling drugs is easier said than done and the clashing, bickering four must face multiple hurdles including a swinging couple and an angry drug lord.

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Getting past the fact that this film hardly convinces us in those vital set-up scenes that any of these characters would agree to go on this job with David, We’re The Millers is surprisingly tolerable and amusing. Big laughs are few and far between but there are consistent chuckles between them. Gross out humour goes a long way – but it is Poulter’s sincere performance contrast against the more outlandish stuff that gets us through the rough patches. Aniston, who is still finding her feet with roles on the big screen, is once again serviceable but gets the short end of the stick with her underwritten character. Her stripper is so thinly drawn that it is virtually impossible for her to make anything more of it than what she does on-screen. Her first few appearances are so fleeting that she doesn’t even manage to convince as a stripper, until the gratuitous but show stopping strip tease used to get them out of a sticky situation.

While avoiding anything at depth, We’re The Millers does stop (albeit briefly) for moments of warmth – Kenny’s coming of age in particular – but aims squarely for laughs, which it gets. Anything that achieves what it sets out to do can’t be all that bad, can it? Even if our memory of it only lasts mere minutes.

 

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One Response to “Film Review – We’re The Millers”

  1. Great review! Nicely written 🙂

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