We’re The Millers

We’re The Millers does have one redeeming quality and that is the combined comic talent of the cast.

What do they say about too many cooks? We’re The Millers is a comedy penned by four screenwriters. Two of them, Bob Fisher and Steve Faber also wrote the occasionally hilarious Wedding Crashers. The other two writers, Sean Anders and John Morris were responsible for the tasteless and unnecessary Hot Tub Time Machine. And putting all this together is director Rawson Marshall Thurber, whose best movie so far is the mediocre brat pack Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story. See where I’m going with this? To make a long story short, We’re The Millers is a no-brainer comedy filled with moments that lack taste and tact. But if you prefer to switch-off from reality, especially after a bad day at work, there are plenty of insane tidbits to make you laugh.

On the short end of the stick, the film does have one redeeming quality and that is the casting. Last seen together in the not so horrible Horrible Bosses, Jason Sudeikis and Jennifer Aniston are pitted together as neighbors who don’t get along. In fact Sudeikis’ David doesn’t get along with any of his neighbors – Kenny (Will Poulter) an 18-year-old nerd who hasn’t even kissed a girl, Casey (Emma Roberts) a homeless Goth-chick, and Rose (Aniston) a debt ridden stripper. Comprising of chaotic moments strung together in the form of a road-trip, the over marinated premise has David downgraded from small-time drug dealer to a mule. After losing his cash and stash, David owes his boss big time and is forced to smuggle “a smidge and a half” of dope from Mexico into Denver. Sure enough, David does the most sensible thing and recruits the aforementioned neighbors to masquerade as the titular family on vacation. What his boss Brad (Ed Helms of Hangover fame) fails to do is define the word ‘Smidge’, resulting in a faux pas road trip with the most dysfunctional family onboard a RV.

While the setup might seem original at first, the gags and corny one-liners catch up to leave you with a high level of clichéd predictability. More often than not, the Millers find themselves flying out of the frying pan and into the fire due to unexpected predicaments. These situations are frequent but also sugar coated with coincidental salvation in the nick of time. Hence, whatever situation lies waiting, the Millers will find a way around it or through it, but in a manner that will leave you either chuckling in delight or grimacing in disgust. Each of the actors playing the Millers is also tasked with a characteristic personality trait that underscores the film’s R-rated content advisory. Somehow, this is built into the array of jokes while also allowing the audience to root for at least one of these misfits. While Sudeikis is his goofy self all throughout, Roberts meets her match with an Eminem wannabe called Scottie P. and Aniston switches from exotic dancer to suburban housewife in the blink of an eye. On the other hand, British actor Poulter can be credited for some of the heavier laughs even if these scenes are literally made of below-the-belt humor.

Thurber keeps things moving, if not alternated by moments straight out of a Farrelly Brothers movie. Some characters are in just for kicks (Luis Guzman as an improvised Mexican cop) while others appear contrived and repetitive (Nick Offerman and Kathryn Hahn as a weird pair of swingers). For this reviewer, the best laughs are the most natural and these are saved for the end-credits sequence where actors are themselves. Did I mention Jennifer Aniston plays a stripper? If all else fails, watching Aniston do her thing is worth the price of admittance alone.

Rating: ★★½☆☆

About Lloyd Bayer

Besides his passion for travelling, photography and scuba diving, Lloyd is a prolific film critic having contributed hundreds of film reviews to web and print journals, including IMDb and local daily Khaleej Times.