Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Review: We're the Millers

Release date: August 7, 2013
Running time: 110 minutes
Starring: Jason Sudeikis, Jennifer Aniston, Emma Roberts, Will Poulter, Ed Helms
Who to see it with: Your "family"


We're the Millers had all the warning signs of a terrible movie: over the top marketing, lots of ads, and a funny, raunchy comedy trailer with plenty of laughs (likely revealing all the major jokes in the film). I went in with pretty low expectations but was pleasantly surprised. David Clark (Sudeikis) is forced to smuggle drugs from Mexico. In order to avoid suspicion, he hires a stripper (Aniston), and two local kids (Roberts and Poulter) to pose as a fake family: the Millers. This setup is paper thin, but it gives just enough for the ridiculous family situation. The plot is refreshingly simple; the story moves along with a few surprises but nothing that goes so over the top that it becomes distracting. 

The "family" interactions are easily the highlight of the movie. As the Millers become more and more like a family, there are funny tensions that develop and some genuinely touching moments. The writing is sharp with both genuine laughs and some pretty raunchy jokes. I was worried that all the funny situations would have been revealed in the trailer, but there are still plenty of funny moments in the film. Sudeikis is a highlight but everyone in the family provides plenty of laughs. The different personalities in the group and their interactions are a fun to watch. As mentioned, the plot moves along at a nice pace with just enough surprises; it's a nice change from some of the over the top ridiculous movies that I've seen recently. We're the Millers is just a funny movie; it has great interactions between some very funny actors and sharp writing. Although it doesn't look like it from the trailers, it is definitely worth a watch.

See it.

PS - Make sure to stay for the credits as there are some funny bloopers at the start of them.

The trailer left me with low expectations too. I assumed it would be too reliant on cheap, raunchy humor, but it appropriately mixes crude humor with likable central characters. The writing is not always sharp and the jokes are sometimes uninspired, but the characters are a fun bunch. WtM is at its best when poking fun at family dynamics and placing the Millers in tense, uncomfortable situations. Though a few moments are a bit over the top, I was also pleased that the story remains fairly grounded compared to more outrageous comedies. The characters' behavior suddenly becomes a bit too sentimental toward the end, but that does not detract much from the comedy. The chemistry between the leads makes it one of the summer's more fun comedies.

Rent it.

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