WE'RE THE MILLERS
Review by Michael Jacobson
Stars: Jason Sudeikis,
Jennifer Aniston, Emma Roberts, Will Poulter, Nick Offerman, Kathryn Hahn, Molly
Director: Rawson Marshall Thurber
Audio: DTS HD 5.1
Video: Anamorphic Widescreen 2.4:1
Studio: Warner Bros.
Features: See Review
Length: 110 Minutes (Theatrical), 119 Minutes (Extended)
Release Date: November 19, 2013
“This is not a 'smidge' of pot...you got me moving enough weed to kill Willie Nelson!”
Not knowing much about We're the Millers when I started watching, I was immediately dejected to learn that the main character of David Clark (Sudeikis) was a pot dealer. I thought I was in for another one of those run-of-the-mill stoner comedies that, frankly, I never find all that damn funny. One of the side effects of NOT taking drugs, I suppose, is an inability to laugh at things drug users do. It's a side effect I'm perfectly happy to live with.
I was wrong, however. This movie features no people actually using drugs, and in fact, steers toward a delightful pot...er, plot device whereby David, after being robbed of all the money he owes his contact, is given an offer he can't refuse...drive to Mexico, pick up a delivery of pot, and bring it back. Instead of dealing, he's smuggling...and if he makes it back, all is forgiven, plus a huge payout to boot. If not, well...I hear those Mexican jails are not a good place to visit.
In order to make it work, he decides he needs an RV...and a family. A wholesome, clean-cut American family driving to and from Mexico would never rouse suspicion. Unfortunately, his options are Rose (Aniston), a salty stripper, Casey (Roberts), a foul-mouthed sometime-runaway, and Kenny (Poulter), who is as sweet as can be...and just as clueless.
Nobody really likes each other, but everyone has something they need the money for, so...after a quick makeover, this criminal clan assumes a Brady-like role and hits the road. The only issue: the ACTUAL amount of marijuana they are required to pick up. Party at Lindsay Lohan's, maybe?
Along the way, they encounter another wholesome RV family in Don (Offerman), Edie (Hahn) and daughter Melissa (Quinn). Like with the Millers, their clean family facade masks some pretty humorous secrets, which I'll leave for you to discover. There are also some bad guys to contend with...it turns out, the deal was not quite as cut and dried (pun intended) as David was led to believe.
Although this comedy definitely earns an R rating (and more so, with the extended version), it has a very different feel. There are some uncomfortable moments, but the film spends more time going for the heart that the gag reflex. After all, if a “family” is really thrown in together for a period of time under stressful circumstances, is it any wonder that they actually begin to act like...well...a family?
The cast is first-rate, delivering the humor with speed and energy and keeping the laughs coming in rapid-fire fashion. My favorite moment? When Kenny starts doing the rap from “Waterfalls”. Weird, sweet, and immensely funny.
So...there CAN be a comedy with drugs as a central point that is actually smart and funny. Who knew? We're the Millers definitely takes the family into non-family-friendly territory, but always ends up on the warm side of the chaos.
This high definition print looks wonderful; clean and clear throughout with excellent coloring and detail. There's not much here in the cinematography that will make great demands of your system, but you won't find anything to complain about.
There are only a couple of big scenes that really open up the audio; apart from that, the film is driven by dialogue, which comes through with nary an issue.
There is a making-of featurette called “Millers Unleashed” that talks about the highly improvised dialogue. There is also a collection of outtakes, 8 deleted scenes, plus extras on Jennifer Anniston and the makeovers for the family.
Roll up for a magical tour...We're the Millers has a great cast, a funny script, and a premise that won't make you impatient for the end credits. Speaking of which, don't miss those, either...extra hilarity ensues.