There’s nothing quite like a nice family vacation, right? Alas, there’s no such holiday in comedy We’re the Millers, a movie about a drug dealer who hires a stripper, runaway and clueless teen to pose as his typical all-American family in order to smuggle a ‘smidge and a half’ of marijuana out of Mexico.
Directed by Rawson Marshall Thurber (DodgeBall: A True Underdog Story), We’re the Millers is unabashedly crude and mildly offensive. It’s closer in tone to something like The Hangover series rather than being lighter, family-friendly fair – it’s most definitely not suitable for children hence the appropriate MA15+ rating.
Jason Sudeikis (Horrible Bosses) is down on his luck drug dealer David Clark. He was recently robbed of his stash but owes his boss for monies due so is bullied into becoming a one-time international drug smuggler. To this end David comes up with the either brilliant or insane idea of posing as an uber-white family on holiday in an RV because families rarely get a second look from authorities. Unconvinced by the plan, neighbour Rose (Jennifer Aniston; also in Horrible Bosses) reluctantly agrees to come along as David’s wife since she’s in desperate need of some cash herself.
Rose is a stripper that David’s had his eye on for some time, but she wants nothing to do with him romantically – oh boy, I wonder if they’re drawn together as the story progresses? Sarcasm alert aside, rounding out the family is Kenny (Will Poulter; The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader), a virgin teen with amazing eyebrows who’s never kissed a girl. Kenny is matched by gutter punk Casey (Emma Roberts; Scream 4), who probably has the least to do out of the bunch.
While Sudeikis is ostensibly the star of the show, keeping the flimsy plot together as it chugs along, Poulter ultimately steals the spotlight as the naïve and oblivious Kenny. He’s the central figure in most of the film’s funniest moments, including a hysterical scene in which he learns how to kiss a girl properly. Meanwhile, Aniston has good comedic chemistry with the lot but largely seems to be in the mix to show off her hot bod for the blokes.
It’s a fun time with consistent laughs, but it does run a bit long. After the ‘Millers’ manage to cross the border out of Mexico not too far into the movie, the story devolves into a string of unfortunate situations that delay the makeshift family from their destination. These are funny skits in and of themselves, and tension is maintained by having an angry drug lord at their heels, but with a little tightening We’re the Millers could have been a much more efficient vehicle rather than just passible entertainment.
Overlong and based on a flimsy plot, We’re the Millers still entertains with its brand of adult humour.