We’re the Millers (2013) – Film Review

We’re the MillersWe're the Millers

Starring Jason Sudeikis, Jennifer Aniston, Emma Roberts, Will Poulter

Directed by Rawson Marshall Thurber

IMDB Rating: 7.1

The story of a drug dealer and his fake family smuggling drugs into America from Mexico – simple, character driven and full of mishaps. Sudekis and Aniston lead in one of the best comedies of recent years.

After being robbed of his drug money, small time dealer David Clark (Sudeikis) is forced by his boss (Ed Helms) to smuggle a huge shipment of marijuana across the border from Mexico to America. Quickly realising that his appearance screams ‘drug dealer’ he enlists the help of neighbour and stripper Rose (Aniston) and two local teens – the couch jumping and hell-raising Casey (Roberts) and ‘dweeb’ Kenny (Poulter) to play his ‘family’ as a disguise.

What I like most about this film is the feeling of improvisation it has. It is clear that even though they are staying in character the actors – particularly the adults in the film, who have been doing comedies there whole careers – are being allowed to be themselves and are just doing what feels natural, and most importantly, funny! The improvisation and naturalness of it all has a feel of Anchorman about it. Another quality you can relate between the two films is that they are both character driven. A lot of movies just devise a plot and let the jokes come from that, but this film focuses on bringing together varying people with different personalities and lets them play off each other – a recipe for success in this business, so long as you have engaging enough characters. It must be said though there if a feeling of repetitiveness in the scenarios they get themselves in. They do regularly get one the verge of being caught for who they are, only for one of them to pull something out of nothing to save themselves. It’s funny up to a point, but eventually I did find myself think ‘come on, really?’ It is also the rebel-ness of the film that makes is as fun as it is to watch. The fact that they don’t really get on but are doing so for the money (at the beginning), and the constant bullying of Kenny add a despicable side to what is meant to be a sweet family – another extra comedic layer to the film!

I’m a fan off all these actors, and I think they all do good jobs here. Jason Sudekis makes a great lead in this film, taking charge of all scenes he is in and producing many laughs – my favourite performance in the film. Many eyes would have been raised when they heard that Jennifer Aniston was playing a stripper, and stripping in the movie, but past that it was a strong performance by her again – however not too different from her performances in other comedies, such as the recently reviewed Just Go with It. The two kids Roberts and Poulter haven’t done their growing reputations no harm here either, but I had to give the happy-camping couple Don and Edie Fitzgerald – played by Nick Offerman and Kathryn Hahn – a special mention as although their characters may be irritating and perhaps even not likeable they bring a level of fun and innocence to it, not something that was easy to do!

The directing in We’re the Millers by Rawson Marshall Thurber (also director of Ben Stiller’s Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story) is solid in terms of comedies. There’s nothing particularly special because there’s no real emotion to work with, except comedy which is a particularly hard thing to accentuate visually. He’s done his part in what is overall a very good comedy!

This film has a lot to offer and has enough varying characters to please the masses. The jokes are mostly on point, and led by some of the strongest actors in comedy it is no surprise this was such a success. We’re the Millers isn’t too far off the quality of Achorman, not quite timeless but a film that will live long in the memory.

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