At first glance, We’re the Millers looks like another boring and generic comedy that fills just about every stereotype. The trailers didn’t put my mind at ease, either, as they’re more focused at parading Jennifer Aniston around in sexy underwear than actually being funny. Much to my surprise, the film actually turned out okay.
The Millers aren’t you average family. In fact, they’re not really a family at all. Drug dealer David Clark (Jason Sudeikis) is forced to go south of the border to Mexico and pick up a “smidge” of marijuana for his drug lord boss Brad Gurdlinger (Ed Helms) in order to repay him back for the drugs/money that was stolen in a robbery. In an effort to appear more convincing to border patrol, he hires his neighbor/stripper Rose (Jennifer Aniston) to play his wife, the awkward Kenny (Will Poulter) to play his son, and the homeless Casey (Emma Roberts) to play his daughter. Nothing could go wrong, right?
We’re the Millers sounds like the beginning of a terrible joke; a drug dealer, stripper, virgin, and runaway drive into Mexico, but it actually turns out to be pretty hilarious. While they put on the façade of a happy family when out in public, they majority of interactions between family members involves all forms of verbal abuse. Be warned, there’s absolutely nothing family friendly about this film. It’s the same type of vulgar humor seen in director Rawson Marshall Thurber’s last feature film, Didgeball: A True Underdog Story, and it doesn’t shy away from the absolutely ridiculous. Once scene in particular that involves Kenny, a spider, and his pants will have you laughing and cringing at the same time.
The dysfunction between the four members of the “Miller” family only increases as the film goes on, although it attempts to develop them into a real family by the end of the film, albeit unsuccessfully. These bonding moments feel rushed and out of place. I’m not expecting Oscar-worthy dramatic performances out of Jason Sudeikis or Jennifer Aniston so there’s no use in trying.
There are some great supporting performances from Nick Offerman and Kathryn Hahn, who play another wholesome family the Millers come across while smuggling drugs into the States. It’s the little things that make the film funny and stand out among other comedies.
If you’re looking to laugh, We’re the Millers is exactly what it sets out to be, nothing more, nothing less. The stream of constant laughs is enough to make you forget about its simple story and characters. Give the film a chance, and I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised. I know I was.