We’re the Millers Review
Reviewed by Patrick Kavanagh-Sproull.
The crass marital comedy Wedding Crashers was a lamentable affair that squandered its rich cast – Owen Wilson, Vince Vaughn and Rachel McAdams were among the A-list line-up – now, screenwriters Bob Fisher and Steve Faber return with another Hollywood farce that is, much against my better nature, actually quite funny.
Horrible Bosses’ Jason Sudeikis stars as David, a loafing drug dealer who, after having all his wealth purloined, is forced to journey to Mexico and retrieve a “smidge” of marijuana for his moneyed kingpin employer (Ed Helms in an unbefitting cameo). He decides that the best way to pass undetected through border control is to get a family so he assembles a ragtag clan consisting of fellow Horrible Bosses alumni Jennifer Aniston as a stripper, Emma Roberts as a tearaway teenager and Will Poulter (of The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader) as a dopey virgin. The stage is set for a road trip of sorts and through all the asinine jokes, there’s actually a thoroughly enjoyable comedy imbedded in the mix.
A lot of the humour stems from the Millers’ distaste for a fellow travelling family, the obtuse Fitzgeralds, a well-to-do all American clan that the Millers are trying to mimic. Kathryn Hahn is the Sapphic mother whilst Parks and Recreation’s Nick Offerman is the quasi-Ned Flanders patriarch, a man who is, unfortunately for David, a former drug enforcement officer. Whilst watching We’re the Millers I found myself drawing many comparisons with the Robin Williams vehicle (pun intended) from 2006: RV. Both films feature a dysfunctional family who encounter another dislikeable goodwill bunch. We’re the Millers is funnier though, it’s a genial comedy that may not be amusing all the time but when it is, it’s riotous (look out for the Millers’ ‘baby’).
Hollywood comedies have been fickle things lately. I feel that the studios are producing too many films that date quickly and don’t quite slot into place, in this reviewer’s mind. Features like the aforementioned Horrible Bosses and another dire offering, Identity Thief (starring Bridesmaids’ Melissa McCarthy, a woman who frequently appears in either amazing or atrocious movies consecutively) all present references to modern day appliances such as iPads, Twitter and in-universe nods to fellow actors. Five years ago you wouldn’t have gotten anything like that because filmmakers back in the day (apologies for sounding reproachful) had sense not to include allusions to things that would show the movie’s age. We’re the Millers has reset the genre, proving that not all contemporary comedies are reliant on modish remarks.
Another thing that We’re the Millers does so very well is that it lightly mocks itself, giving way for some really good jokes. Be it an over-the-top kiss framed by glittering fireworks or the over exaggerated ‘punk’ teenager they come across, it’s all overplayed but luckily it takes it in its stride. If We’re the Millers had dealt with issues like the silly buss in a serious fashion then it would come down with a series case of Did You Hear About The Morgans?, a film that shot its finale in a rodeo roundup, which certainly didn’t do anything for a an already lacklustre and dull comedy.
Lighthearted and immature fun, We’re the Millers is one of the most undemanding and half decent comedies of the year. If you don’t leave the cinema with a smile on your face then you’re most definitely missing a funny bone.
Oh, and be sure to look out for that bit in the trailer Where Jennifer Aniston Takes Off All Her Clothes. That’s certainly aimed at a certain demographic.