The Movie Waffler New Release Review - We're the Millers | The Movie Waffler

New Release Review - We're the Millers

A marijuana dealer assembles a fake family to pull off a smuggling operation.

Directed by: Rawson Marshall Thurber
Starring: Jennifer Aniston, Jason Sudeikis, Emma Roberts, Will Poulter, Ed Helms, Nick Offerman

‘We’re the Millers’ is about a low level, lifelong pot dealer, David (Sudeikis), who, after being robbed, becomes indebted to his dealer, Brad (Helms).  To get out of debt, he has to smuggle what he is told is a “smidge” of marijuana from Mexico to the U.S.  Under the cloud of committing a federal crime, David devises the plan to make a fake family, the "Millers", to hopefully draw less attention to himself while he crosses the heavily guarded boarder.  
After bringing together his stripper neighbor, Rose (Aniston), as his wife, a lonely, naive kid, Kenny (Poulter), as his son, and Casey (Roberts), a runaway, as his daughter, the Millers begin their family road trip to Mexico.  From here, the story becomes highly predictable as it hits all the familiar notes of R-rated comedies from the last few years.  Luckily, for the Millers, the chemistry among the core cast is strong enough that most will find all the familiar speed bumps on their family trip funny enough that you don’t really care if you know where the film is going to end.
What may surprise some is Sudeikis’s ability to be the leading man of a film, as his charisma is contagious and elevates every character he interacts with, especially when he is allowed to do his own thing.  Aniston finds a great median between her romantic comedy roots and her highly-sexualized role from 'Horrible Bosses'. She is able to be genuinely funny, endearing, raunchy and sexy, seemingly at the flip of a switch, and it is her chemistry with Sudeikis that really drives the film from gag to gag.  Roberts, on the other hand, fits her role fine but, because her character is the most underwritten, she sometimes gets lost in the background. Poulter, the least known of maybe the entire film, draws some pretty big laughs and does a good job in his role as the timid kid who wishes he was more “manlier” than he really is.
The only lacking aspect of the film is its unoriginal story.  Right from the beginning, (heck, even from seeing the trailers), you know how the film is going to end; the only thing you don’t know is all the little laughs along the way.  This is where the film gets the audience to love it, because the usual laughs are bigger and better than the average comedy from the past few years.  But, this is also my problem with most comedies of the last few years; they make you laugh and for the common viewer, that’s all they want, which is fine and dandy, but I like comedies that have great stories too.  The script here doesn’t have a very good story, but the cast mashes their talents in such a way that you know they had fun making the film, and when that translates to the screen, it makes the film more entertaining.  Sadly, this trend of only looking to entertain with cheap laughs rather than story and character seems to be picking up steam, and while this may be an enjoyable and entertaining example of this, it is an example none the less.

Andy Comer