Synopsis: After middle-class drug dealer David (Jason Sudeikis) is robbed, his supplier tasks him with smuggling a batch of marijuana across the border to settle his debt. In order to appear as inconspicuous as possible David hires stripper, Rose (Jennifer Aniston), weedy loner, Kenny (Will Poulter) and punk runaway Casey (Emma Roberts) to play his fake all-American family. Of course, many bumps in the road (ha ha ha!) cause the family to fight, work together and bond in ways none of them expected.
Rawson Thurber Marshall and Jason Sudeikis haven’t had that much luck in the mainstream. Sudeikis, a long-time member of Saturday Night Live, is a demi-God on television but his films consistently flop due to the fact that they are, mostly, and through no fault of his own, terrible – Horrible Bosses being the exception. Similarly, Marshall wrote and directed one of the most revered Superbowl adverts of all time and one of the (personal opinion) best sports movie ever with Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story and then all but fell off the face of the Hollywood sign. Could We’re The Millers be Sudeikis’ turning point and Marshall’s triumphant return? Ehhhh.
Really, the film’s faults lie at the hands of its writers. Why New Line Entertainment would hire the idiots who gave us The Wedding Crashers, Mr Popper’s Penguins, Sex Drive and That’s My Boy is beyond comprehension. Sure, those films all have a select few very humorous moments but they all suffer from poor writing; uneven tonal shifts and schmaltzy emotional beats that destroy the comedic momentum built up by their respective actors/directors.
Because of this, We’re The Millers is not as consistent or barraging with its humour as this summer’s This Is The End, The Heat or heck, even Scary Movie 5, but where there is humour, unspoiled by too-conventional, lovey dovey writing, it is hysterical. Thanks mostly to Sudeikis’ perfect deadpan delivery and the chemistry between our misfit ‘family’ there aren’t many moments throughout the film’s 110 minute runtime that you won’t be at least cracking a smile. 110 minutes does sound a little long and I’d ask for it to be shorter, but I’d fear that New Line would cut down on the skits that appear throughout rather than the emotional developments that occur.
Exploiting as much as possible from the faux-family setup there are plenty of incest and family-inappropriate jokes to go around and when the laughs get going they are seriously funny. On top of worthy appearances from Nick Offerman and a short few scenes with Mark L. Young, the film mines some Golden Age Jennifer Aniston moments from the actress who seems to choose increasingly lewd characters as she ages; a road I would not tell her to turn around on.
Featuring a cast that seriously shines through a too-occasionally safe narrative with some occasionally un-safe comedy We’re The Millers is just ‘good’. Perhaps if Rawson Thurber Marshall had written the script and applied the unceasing idiosyncratic genius to the plot and characters that he did in Dodgeball we’d have a very different film but as it stands We’re The Millers is a dazzling firework with too few colourful bangs.