— Cuba Gooding, Jr. as Rod Tidwell from Jerry Maguire, 1996
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August 23, 2013
Review: We’re The Millers
— Posted by Andrea Lestrange
Getting the audience warmed up with the film opening to a variety of popular resident-funny You Tube videos, it seems like We’re The Millers was set to be a constant barrel of laughs. Don’t get me wrong, it was definitely funny in places, it just lacked the pizzazz that comes with a great comedy classic you’d watch over and over again. I doubt I’ll watch it again. I’m still trying to figure out why there has been such an abundance of costly in-your-face hype for this movie, expecting it to be hugely impressive – then I realized it wasn’t, it just needed to sell.
Small time pot dealer David Clark (Jason Sudeikis) screws up when he loses a whole backpack of weed after being robbed by a bunch of lame greasy teenage punks, or “the cast of Annie,” as he puts it. His boss Brad (a prick played perfectly by Ed Helms) is lax about this, seemingly more interested in his mammoth tank of sharks and his killer whale, as you do. However, to repay him, he forces David to smuggle a ‘smidge and a half’ (2 tons) of weed across the Mexican border. He casually ‘rents’ his neighbors – a stripper and a geek, and a random, apparently homeless brat (Emma Roberts) to become his squeaky clean fake family. Post haircuts, wardrobe changes and showers, The Millers look like your average happy-clappy, straight-laced, mid-western, overly-keen, All-American fam. Now imagine that as their pimpin’ RV that puts Walt White & Jesse’s to shame rolls up to Rick Ross’ Hustlin.’
Director Rawson Marshall Thurber manages to weave in some memorable parts but unfortunately it just doesn’t fly the same way as his first feature film Dodgeball. I mean Dodgeball was ridiculous, but hilarious. We’re The Millers wasn’t ridiculous enough to make that category, and not well-written enough or continuously funny enough to be a classic. It rides on predictability from start to finish with too many long gaps of dull that sometimes makes you feel like you too were on a boring-ass RV trip. Jason Sudeikis, in my opinion, saved the film. He consistently cracked out hilarious one-liners, and the anticipation for them throughout the film was the most exciting thing about it. Just when a scene was starting to get a little dry he would bust out lines like, “F*** off real-life Flanders,” to, you guessed it, a Ned Flanders look-alike, and “You and me traveling alone will be like the pervert Olympics,” to an awkward Kenny (Will Poulter). His little gems were definitely some much needed piri-piri to a bland boiled chicken.
In general the acting was pretty good; the notable cast and diverse characters were the main strength of the film. Jason Sudeikis impressed with his endearing, funny but not too cocky charm – it felt like the role came totally naturally to him. Jennifer Aniston was also pretty entertaining, quick witted, and bounced well off Sudeikis. Supporting roles from Kathryn Hahn as Edie and Nick Offerman as Don were highly entertaining as the Fitzgerald family, who RV holiday for real. The Fitzgerald’s real messed up family really brought to life the dynamics of the Millers fake messed up family. They added weird to many situations and the most memorable parts of the film for me often involved hilarious Hahn either freaking out over a dead weed baby, or groping Jen An’s boobs as her ‘first female sexual lover,’ as Don fingered David’s ear hole.
It’s probably time I touched on THAT scene, yep, you’ve all seen it in the trailer – Jennifer Aniston writhing with her glowing tanned skin and toned muscles. A.K.A one of We’re The Millers biggest selling and talking points. First things first, she looked frikkin hot as she dominated the four elements – she owned the earth…that ground was hers, she then progressed to the shower (that happened to be in the auto repair garage) for her Flashdance impression, that was further ignited by sparks of fire flying off her ‘this is what years of yoga does to your body’ body. It came to a close with her owning air and gassing out a Mexican gangster. Makes perfect sense, right? Ok, so the scene was totally unnecessary and slightly awkward as she peeled off her Stepford wives clothing, but I doubt there will be any boys complaining about her jiggling her lady lumps.
If you watch the film as completely tongue-in-cheek and don’t expect much from it at all, then you will probably enjoy it more. It’s not good enough to be a great comedy, and it’s not bad enough to be a bad-good comedy. Don’t expect to be creasing over with laughter the whole time, but there is definitely some great laugh out loud moments from a great cast.
Also, just a heads up – you will never listen to TLC’s Waterfalls in the same way again…
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I love to write about different types of film - from blockbusters, to indies, and documentaries. I enjoy exploring and discussing different themes and angles, with a light-hearted edge to keep things fun. I am based in London, and currently looking to pursue a career in the film industry.
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