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Reviews » Theatrical Reviews » We're the Millers
We're the Millers
Warner Bros. // R // August 7, 2013
Review by Jeff Nelson | posted August 6, 2013 | E-mail the Author
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When it comes to comedy, this generation seems to highly enjoy R-rated raunch-fests. While PG-13 films still have the potential to make more money, clean humor simply isn't quite as popular with younger audiences, especially when movies such as Bridesmaids and The Hangover are being released. However, some filmmakers simply don't understand that throwing a bunch of F-bombs in a movie doesn't make it necessarily funny. While quite a few segments of We're the Millers are quite enjoyable, the majority of the narrative and the dialogue feel far too familiar. There isn't much thought that went into the plot, characters, or interactions. This isn't much different from your typical RV-flick, except it happens to have a lot of vulgar content.

David Clark (Jason Sudeikis) never grew up from high school, since he continues to sell marijuana for money around town. After trying to help his neighbor, Kenny Rossmore (Will Poulter) from street thugs, all of the drugs and the money are stolen from him. David is forced to move a huge shipment of weed into the U.S. from Mexico, but there's no way he could get past the border by himself without the patrol getting suspicious. He decides to create a fake family in order to appear more innocent. Rose O'Reilly (Jennifer Aniston) and Casey Mathis (Emma Roberts) aid the two men in order to get a cut of the cash.

We're the Millers begins with David Clark in his apartment, as he watches famous YouTube videos. They feel like cheap laughs, which instantly starts the film off on a bad foot. It only gets worse as each character is introduced, as they're all down on their luck in various ways. Each stereotypical cookie cutter role is present, making every move as predictable as ever. It feels as if we've known these characters for years, but in a bad way. If you've seen one of these "family" RV comedies, then you've seen all of them when it comes to the characters. They are put in the exact same awkward situations that one would expect. It tries to be as vulgar as possible at every turn, even when it doesn't necessarily fit the scene. There are other times when the jokes have some potential, but they're quickly killed by the very next line of dialogue. After being written by Bob Fisher, Steve Faber, Sean Anders, and John Morris, it's no wonder that this screenplay comes off as being all over the place. So many people put their hands in the jar, everything got jumbled.

I realize that I have been bashing We're the Millers thus far, but it actually does have its redeeming qualities. One of the feature's strongest assets is surely its ability to poke fun at the "perfect" American family structure. Even the seemingly perfect groups of people have something going on behind closed doors. These screenwriters are often successful in their gags surrounding around the typical family members in modern society, especially when it comes to the kids. Kenny is extremely inexperienced when it comes to conversing with others, but he's always trying his hardest to impress the girls around him. Meanwhile, Casey seemingly wants to be left alone by everybody, but secretly just wants somebody to care about her. She desires the typical dumb "bad boy" and does what she can to get attention from others. We're the Millers constantly makes fun of these dynamics, which works rather well.

Even though the focal point is for this fake family to transport the weed over the border, they encounter a bunch of other issues along the way. Don Fitzgerald (Nick Offerman), Edie Fitzgerald (Kathryn Hahn), and Melissa Fitzgerald (Molly C. Quinn) are supposedly the real-life "picture perfect" family. The Millers constantly try to get rid of the Fitzgerald family, but the jolly group continues to follow the unsuspecting drug smugglers in order to help them out. This causes a series of crazy antics and a ton of gags. While some of them are funny, the majority of them are tacky. This contributes to the fact that We're the Millers comes across as the stereotypical raunchy comedy that doesn't ever attempt to think outside of the box. All of a sudden, the narrative instantly tries to be as sweet as possible. It's an awkward transition that doesn't work in the slightest. This plot progression feels so forced, that it will instantly make audiences tune out.

This motion picture sports a well-known cast of actors. They fit within the characters, but no actor could repair every problem with this script. Jason Sudeikis plays David Clark rather well when considering the material. There isn't anything brilliant about his performance, but he's the saving grace of quite a few of the unfunny lines. Jennifer Aniston is Rose O'Reilly. She has never been the most charming actress on screen, but she's a lot more casual and fun than she normally is. Aniston's acting skills still aren't great, but she isn't bad here. Aniston and Sudeikis are at their best when they're bickering back and forth, as they deliver some funny scenes. Will Poulter and Emma Roberts are Kenny Rossmore and Casey Mathis, respectively. There isn't anything particularly impressive about either representation, but they work in the given context. Nick Offerman and Kathryn Hahn are appropriately irritating in the roles of the Fitzgerald couple, but they execute these characters as they should be presented. By the time the credits are rolling, you won't like any of these actors any more than you already do. However, it won't make you dislike any of them any less.

There are so many writers on board with this film, that it's clear how this film got so messy. However, the plot doesn't hint at this being a great picture from the start. Even so, it's still a lot better than it could have been. While there are numerous jokes that won't receive any laughter, there are other scenes that are quite funny. There most certainly are a few decent laughs to be found here, but there aren't a lot of them. Jason Sudeikis and Jennifer Aniston share some good sequences, as their bickering is rather enjoyable. Other than the typical cookie cutter roles, We're the Millers suffers from being far too familiar, making it far too forgettable. Rent it.

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