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We’re The Millers (2013)

December 6, 2013

We're-The-Millers-Poster Recently, on my birthday, my significant other once again reminded me of his greatness by giving me a new television and a blu-ray player, considering I’d been living in the Stone Ages sans television for the better part of a year. We decided to christen my new gift by renting We’re the Millers, as something to “fall asleep to.” Such description perfectly fit my overall experience and impression of Dodgeball director Rawson Marshall Thurber’s stoner comedy. Through word of mouth I discovered that many people expected We’re The Millers  to be a flop upon its release, but they were instead impressed with the results. I can agree with the rave reviews to an extent; We’re the Millers  is actually pretty funny at times, and did exceed my expectations. Yet, as the film continues it starts to waste ours and its time which makes the film overall lackluster.

Sudeikis plays David, a drug dealing 30-something with no ties of commitment in his life. When he is robbed of thousands of dollars and all of his drugs his king pin boss, Brad Grudlinger (a hilarious Ed Helms), gives him an unnegotiable ultimatum: repay the debt by smuggling a “small amount” of pot across the Mexican border. Despite his outward disdain of mainstream conventional families, the desperate David realizes how inconspicuous a family crossing the border is. He then decides to rent an RV and enlists the help of Sarah, his soon to be evicted stripper neighbor, Kenny, a naïve 18-year-old tenant and Casey, a spoiled, teenage runaway. The group clean themselves up to make their way to Mexico where a mix-up puts all their lives in hijink filled danger.

I admit, We’re the Millers has its moments, plenty of them and Jason Sudeikis is to thank for most of  that. His dry, quick-witted delivery seems to likely be the result of improvisation, but is hilarious nonetheless. Sudeikis also proves himself as a worthy comedic actor able to deliver emotions with sincerity and realism. Jennifer Aniston is a near perfect complement to Sudeikis with her ability to effectively channel both a suburban housewife and a hard-edged stripper with a chip on her shoulder humorously. We’re the Millers owes its crowing moments to both lead actors, but also to comedic actors Nick Offerman and Kathryn Hahn who appear as secondary characters that arguably shine just as bright as Sudeikis and Aniston.

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Although We’re the Millers is funny, it’s not nearly as humourous as other films in it’s genre. We’re the Millers is laced with the theme of pot, yet oddly no one ever smokes it or talks of it outside of its objectivity. It’s ultimately a pot film that doesn’t have any of the humor usually intertwined in movies of its type. Instead, the humor is heavily dependent on the characters and the story, which itself is flimsy and trite. While most of the actors pull their weight, the script’s humor is flaccid, something you’re reminded of when scenes are dominated by weak characters.  Conceived by four, yes four, writers, We’re the Millers‘ screenplay is mostly pabulum as it wastes much of its time on only moderately funny sequences that amount to little development or understanding of its characters.

By the last half hour of We’re the Millers I was exhausted from having insomnia wish me a happy birthday the night before. With my glasses off I struggled to focus on the blurry objects onscreen and their actions between half-closed eyes. I probably should have just slept through the contrived, unimpressive ending but I rallied through anyway, despite having lost interest 30 minutes before. We’re the Millers was good. Not exceptional, not great, but fair. It’s a movie to fall asleep to or aimlessly watch on boring day due to it’s strong first half, but don’t expect anything more during it’s climax.

TOSS UP.Sudeikis, Hahn, and Helms alone are worth it if it does cross your path.

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