WE’RE THE MILLERS
By Gary Murray
Starring Jennifer Aniston, Jason Sudeikis, Emma Roberts and Will Poulter
Written by Bob Fisher & Steve Faber and Sean Anders & John Morris
Directed by Rawson Marshall Thurber
Running time 110 min
MPAA Rating R
Selig Film Rating Full Price
Jennifer Aniston has had a storied career since Friends. She is the spurned woman that the paparazzi love to ambush. Her cinematic career has not been as successful as her TMZ career. She delivered great performances in The Good Girl and Horrible Bosses but most of his movie roles have not generated the success of her television work. With her new comedy film, We’re the Millers, all that may change.
The story is of David (Jason Sudeikis). He’s a pot dealer who has not amounted to much since college. When we first meet him, he bumps into an old college buddy (the always great Thomas Lennon). Where others have moved on to family and the suburbs, David is still living an arrested development. He is a lonely, lost soul.
David lives in the same apartment building as Rose (Jennifer Aniston). She is a stripper who is past her prime. She has to deal with women half her age and more than half her intelligence. The bar owner pushes her to do things she would rather not. Rose has a scummy boyfriend who abuses their relationship. She is a lonely, lost soul.
Added to this mix are Kenny (Will Poulter) a latch-key kid who has been abandoned by his mother and Casey (Emma Roberts) a street kid with a cell phone and no morals. Kenny has a strong sense of right and wrong and Casey just looks out for herself. Both are lonely, lost souls.
An incident happens and David is robbed of all his money and drugs. This does not go over well with his boss Brad (Ed Helms). Since David in now heavily indebted to Brad, Brad comes up with a solution. He needs David to go into Mexico and bring back a ‘smidge and a half’ of weed from a local drug dealer.
David knows that a single guy would be a dead give-away by the border guards. So, he hatches an idea. He will create a Mid-western milquetoast family to bring the drugs stateside. No one will suspect a clean-cut all-American family as drug mules.
First he has to convince everyone to go along with the plan. Each has a reason to take on this adventure, from money to just getting out of town. And before one can say the word, we are on one of the oldest cinematic staples–a ‘road trip’ comedy.
The second half of the film is the bonding of this blended family going down to Mexico. The third part of the film happens with the complications that occur once they make the crossing. The third act is where the screenplay takes off.
The faux family meets up with a real family of RV enthusiasts. That group includes Don (the brilliant Nick Offerman) his wife Edie (Katherine Hahn) and their daughter Melissa (Molly C. Quinn). The bulk of the comedy happens when the paths of these two groups of campers pass.
This film is easily the funniest flick of 2013. It is rude, raunchy and massively politically incorrect but it also funny as Hades. The four writers come up with bad situation after bad situation that the Millers must overcome. Though the film does run more episodic than smoothly linear it still adheres to the first rule of comedy—be funny. Director Rawson Marshall Thurber knows he is not making Shakespeare here, he knows that he out for laughs. He gets a bucket load of chortles almost from the first frame.
Jason Sudeikis is best known for his time at SNL. He has been breaking into some features such as Hall Pass and Horrible Bosses. Here he finally gets a leading man role and carries the film easily. This should be the first of a series of comedies featuring the talented performer. It isn’t just ‘weed comedy’ for Jason. He does find a few moments to show true acting skills within the role.
We’re the Millers should be a $100 million solo hit for Jennifer Aniston. It is also just the adrenalin injection her career needs. She has been in a few blockbusters but it has felt more like stunt casting with much more famous comic leads (Adam Sandler, Ben Stiller and Jim Carrey). This is a solid comedy performance from a woman who deserves the top-billing on the marquee.
August is usually a wasteland for film, a dumping ground of flicks that either didn’t match up with the blockbusters or long shot Oscar bait flicks. The blockbuster guns have already been fired and the ‘intellectual appeal’ bits of cinema are months away. We’re the Millers is just a summertime entertainment but it is a lot of fun to watch. It is just the remedy for 105 degree days.