We’re the Millers (2013) Review

The last dozen or so times we’ve gone to the theatre Loretta and I have ended up seeing either action, drama, or kids movies. It’s been a while since we’ve seen an adult comedy on the big screen, and we wanted to change that, so we decided on We’re the Millers (2013) (imdb.com). We went into the movie knowing it was going to be a raunchy, summer comedy and that’s exactly what was delivered. We both really enjoyed the film.

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Plot

WE'RE THE MILLERSThe plot itself is pretty straight forward and easy to predict. A drug dealer is forced into smuggling drugs into the US from Mexico and needs a cover to get across the border. He hires a ragtag bunch of misfits to play his family to avoid suspicion and as they go on the journey, they overcome their faults and learn to love each other.They weren’t trying to trick the audience at all. But the humor in the actions and the acting is what really makes We’re the Millers fun to watch.

5E0A8415.dngPart of the reason we liked We’re the Millers so much was because of the trailer. The marketers did a great job at not revealing too much of the plot in the trailer. And what’s more, they left all the funniest moments in the film, instead of showing them in the trailer. Unlike a lot of comedies I’ve seen, I went into the screening being able to still laugh because I didn’t know all the jokes.
If you want more of the plot, check out the spoilers at the bottom!

Casting

WE'RE THE MILLERSJason Sudeikis (imdb.com) was a great casting choice to play Dave. He has that stereotypical “white and nerdy” dad look, and making him a drug dealer made for some great contrast in character. Emma Roberts (imdb.com) and Will Poulter (imdb.com) were also placed well. Poulter’s eyebrows and facial expressions alone made me crack up; and Roberts reminded me a lot of what my sister was like at that age… it was spot on. While Jennifer Aniston (imdb.com) wasn’t bad, I feel like this was a lazy role for her. It was almost the exact character she played in Just Go With It (imdb.com) in 2011; where Adam Sandler hires her to play his wife.

L14A4140.dngAs well casted and well acted as the main cast was, a lot of the humor came from the supporting roles. Nick Offerman (imdb.com) was his usual self, and came off great as a stressed DEA agent. Kathryn Hahn (imdb.com), Edie, has that wholesome wife feel; and her non-curse, curse words were subtle, but perfect for her character. The character of Brad Gurdlinger could’ve been so much more than he was though. I like Ed Helms (imdb.com) well enough, and he did decent as brad, but production missed a huge opportunity to really push the bounds. They wanted a “white bread” sort of actor to portray a huge drug boss; and Ed Helms fits this. But they could’ve made the character a lot more sinister if they had casted someone like Jack McBrayer (imdb.com), who looks decent and evil at the same time.

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Structure

5E0A5562.DNGWe’re the Millers is set up in a way so that the most amount of laughing can occur. “But, isn’t that something all comedies do?” Yes, they all try it, but few of them space out jokes far enough apart that you can get everything but still close enough so there isn’t a big lull in the laughter. Instead of being wall-to-wall jokes and gags there was actually a heart to the film that snuck the characters’ emotions in.

WE'RE THE MILLERSThey also structured the “road trip” aspect so that each of the four main characters took their turn being the focal point. We spent time on each of their problems and it created a sense of a family unit. While it was effective, it was also a little nail-on-the-head and formulaic. By allowing for this formula though, they were able to make sure the humor was on the ball; which it was.


Comedy

wtm008As a comedy, We’re the Millers was pretty solid. It had a good combination of physical jokes and gags, one liners, and some subtle humor. One of my favorite parts is when Dave (Sudeikis) is brought before Brad Gurdlinger (Helms) and the receptionist asks him if he’d like a Fresca. Dave makes some jokes and the moment breezes by. But in the next shot he’s carrying a can of Fresca with a bendy straw. Nobody else in the theatre laughed, but I just about lost my shit. Nobody in the scene pays notice to the can in his hand, and it’s a perfect example of how subtle moments help smooth out some of the bigger gags.

wtm003The one downside I have to the way the comedy plays out is the fact that walking out of the film I couldn’t tell you any of the one liners. Much like other summer, adult comedies (ex: The Hangover (imdb.com)) it makes you laugh to the point of peeing your pants while you’re watching it, but none of the lines are really memorable. What are memorable are the physical gags and facial expressions. Kenny (Poulter) was able to make just standing around become humorous, and it was all in how he stood and the way he used his face to emote.

5E0A4468.DNGOverall We’re the Millers was fantastic. As corny and unrealistic as it was, it was still believable. It was one of those comedies where I actually wanted to see what would happen next. I laughed a lot, and ended up going through a whole box of Raisinettes. If you’re contemplating whether to see it or not, I say see it. If you’re mildly interested but still intrigued, wait for it to come out on DVD or streaming. It’s not the type of movie that’s better in theatre than at home, but is still worth seeing. Check out the trailer after the spolier if you have no idea what this movie is.

SPOILER ALERT!

L14A0690.DNGWe’re the Millers stars Jason Sudeikis (imdb.com), as Dave, a drug dealer forced to smuggle marijuana from Mexico to the US. He struggles to find a way to not get caught and winds up deciding that acting like a family is the best option. But, because he has no family, he has to hire a fake family. Enter Jennifer Aniston (imdb.com), Rose/Sarah, Dave’s stripper neighbor whose boyfriend ran off with all her money and decides to join Dave because she was evicted. He also hires his dorky downstairs neighbor, Kenny (played by Will Poulter (imdb.com)), and a street urchin named Casey (played by Emma Roberts (imdb.com) to play his kids.

wtm016The four reach Mexico, get the drugs, and get back across the border with no problems. But when the Mexican drug-lord, Pablo Chacon, comes after them, all hell breaks loose. Dave and his “family” encounter Chacon numerous times along their trip back to Colorado to deliver the pot to Brad Gurdlinger, played by Ed Helms (imdb.com). Chacon nearly kills them every time, but they manage to escape. Along the way they meet a super straight-laced DEA agent, Don (played by Nick Offerman (imdb.com)), who is on vacation with his family. The two families become intertwined and hilarity ensues.

Ultimately Dave learns that he really does want a family and cares deeply for the one that he’s made. He makes a deal with Don to hand over Brad and Chacon, and is placed in witness protection with his fake family.

END SPOILER ALERT!

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