“We’re The Millers” Review
Two belly laughs, 5 or 6 chuckles and a mountain of half-hearted smirks… It just doesn’t add up to enough to make this a successful comedy. When the biggest risks and the biggest laughs take place in the outtakes and bloopers section of the end credits, you know something went wrong with the production. It feels like the studio chickened out at the last minute and went for broad comedy, rather than edgy, bold craziness.
Jason Sudekis plays a drug dealer. You can tell he’s a drug dealer because he is unshaven and wears a hoodie.
Jennifer Aniston plays a down-on-her-luck stripper. You can tell she’s a stripper because she almost takes off her clothes… twice.
Emma Roberts plays a homeless punk. You can tell she’s a homeless punk because she has a nose ring and is angry all the time.
Will Poulter plays a dork whose mother has abandoned him. You can tell he’s a dork because of his stupid face.
Together, they pretend to be the Miller family, so that they can rent an RV and smuggle a vast quantity of weed across the border from Mexico without arousing suspicion. Ed Helms plays the drug kingpin who will pay hundreds of thousands to get his hands on the merchandise.
“We’re the Millers” wants to have the wacky tone of films like “The Hangover” and “Bridesmaids”. It so desperately wants to be be daring… but only ever hints at it. It is a strip club with no tits. It is marijuana, not cocaine. It is rated R, but it is really a PG-13. Somewhere along the way, it blurred the lines without crossing them.
It is a shame. The actors are all very good, despite a few odd casting choices. Sudekis is a random selection to be a drug dealer… but his comedic talents are enough to distract you from the decision. Ed Helms belongs in another film. He just seems completely out of place here. Jennifer Aniston has evidently been doing pilates — she looks amazing as she delivers her routinely competent variation of Rachel from “Friends”. Emma Roberts and Will Poulter both find some amusing moments as the children in this dysfunctional family.
As the final credits rolled, I found myself thinking about the lost opportunity here. I wanted this film to break some rules and start some fights. Instead, I sat through something I had seen a million times before. It’s not a horrible film… merely a way to waste 90 minutes of your pathetic little lives with an endless batch of semi-amused nods.