In “We’re the Millers” Jason Sudekis plays a solitary small time drug dealer who, through a series of unfortunate events, finds himself smuggling a few hundred kilograms of marijuana across the Mexican border. After his stash of drugs and money is stolen, his boss forces him to become a drug smuggler to pay back his debt. To safely smuggle the load, he hires a stripper (Jennifer Aniston), a runaway teen (Emma Roberts), and the abandoned boy who lives downstairs (Will Poulter) to pose as the Miller family.
The premise of the movie is completely absurd, as is most of the content. In this case, the absurdity plays out excellently. Sudekis gives a superb performance, showing a knack for well executed humor as well as great character development. Aniston definitely still has ‘it’, and young actors Will Poulter and Emma Roberts performed well alongside the more experienced pair, although their acting left a small something to be desired. The action stays quick and engaging, with a good mix between character development, clever humor, and pure ridiculousness. This movie, unlike many others lately, does not overuse the ‘shock value’ card. The shocking scenes are used effectively, not just as a gimmick.
The character development is better than expected for a blockbuster comedy, although some scenes slow down the pace of the film. Aniston and Sudekis help to construct a very convincing storyline. This is to be expected from Aniston, but the capability of Sudekis to do something other than comedy came as a pleasant surprise. The interaction between the characters is authentic and funny. They develop believable relationships with each other as the film progresses. The exchange between the characters is always quick and witty. The writers manage to keep you just interested enough in the characters to give you a reason to stick around after the jokes. The jokes themselves are excruciatingly funny. The story is well written as well, and it serves as more than just a nice bonus to a raunchy comedy; it also serves to tie all the madness together to provide an entertaining 110 minutes.
This was not by any means a flawless film; some slower scenes threw off the quick pacing maintained throughout the rest of the movie. Some of the more emotional bits came off as strained instead of sincere. Some might say that the absurdity was overplayed, but those people are few and far between. Some important plot points seemed a little forced, like they were only there because all plots are required to have certain common elements. Some of the humor was a bit cheap, like the spider bite scene, but for the most part it was satisfyingly hilarious. This is a movie to keep the whole theater laughing start to finish.
If you were planning to see “We’re the Millers” because it looked funny in the previews, then definitely give it a view. You will get your money’s worth, along with a little extra. The film is a great time, unbearably quotable, ridiculously unreasonable, takes a great shot at sincerity, and very nearly reaches it. Also, Jennifer Aniston is still smokin’. If raunchy comedies are not your thing, then this movie may not be for you but it is certainly worth a try. Nowadays it is rare to find a good mix between outrageous laughs and genuine smiles, and “We’re the Millers” is about as close as it gets to finding that mix. Never has a movie with so much vulgarity managed to have such a heartwarming ending. This is one of the better comedies to come out in recent months. Highly recommended.