Everyone enjoys a good laugh, no matter who you are, anyone can enjoy a good joke. Many comedies just go for a good entertaining laugh. I find the comedy genre to be among the hardest of genres to make a solid film. A lot fail, some succeed, and “We’re the Millers” (2013), judging from the trailers, looked at the very least it would be just like a fun, mindless entertaining, funny movie. What we got was exactly that, in only some places. This comedy features many great moments, but they are far in between many that fall flat, in this talent driven predictable and sometimes awkward comedy.
This film follows veteran pot dealer, David Clark. He has been doing it for years, and is very good at it, but after an incident on the streets, Clark loses all of his drugs and all of the money he has recently made. His boss, is not too happy and sends him on a run down to Mexico to pick a “little” marijuana to smuggle across the border. David has no choice but to do it, and plans how he will accomplish the task. He decides to gather up some people to create a fake family as a cover for going. One is a stripper that lives next door, another neighbor is brought into “the family”, the loser teenager, and another is a teenage runaway.
The plot is another road trip type of film, but one that doesn’t sound clichéd. We’ve got a great setup here for a fantastic comedy. 4 different personalities that are bound to bounce off one another and have some incredible fun on the journey, sounds great to me. The story’s problem is it goes off is so many different directions and events that it never stays focused at all. There is a drug dealer after them, a weird family that they spend about half the movie with, and some other “comedic” events along the way. It’s like a kid in a candy store going, “I want that candy, no wait I want that candy too, no wait look at this candy daddy, and can we also get this one?” The child is going off on some different candies and directions at one time that he won’t get them all and his father will just get annoyed listening and watching it unfold, that’s the best analogy that I can give this film. Of course that doesn’t always equal a bad movie for example; I found “Caddyshack” (1980) to have a much unfocused script but it was still good because it was still a hilarious film.
There is more to it than just an unfocused script, it is certainly predictable. I’m pretty sure the filmmakers never was going for anything else, however this is a case where it can be faulted. I can let the predictable ending slide however many of the jokes, and setups were all predictable. You will be going, “okay this is going to happen now” and sure enough it does. The ending, we all knew from the trailer would happen because that’s the type of film this is and nothing wrong with that but when so many things along the way are predictable
Again I would forgive most of that if the film was funny. At times it is very funny. The script contains some amazing moments of humor, through witty dialogue, some funny slapstick and some always dumb fun humor. However there isn’t a ton of it. Much of the humor comes off as awkward, forced, and flat. Some moments are very memorable others you would have forgotten in the next minute. This R rated flick tries hard to make people laugh, throwing as many jokes as the writers can think of, problem is they didn’t think about whether or not a good size portion of them were any good at all.
The cast is a huge bright spot in this film. The cast is absolutely great with the material given to them and try their hardest on stuff that is a clear miss. Jason Sudeikis plays the small time drug dealer David Millers, and does a really good job in the film. Jennifer Aniston plays the stripper, Rose O’Reilly. These are the types of roles we want to see Aniston play. Get out of the silly romantic comedies and do films like this; Aniston plays the R rating to her full potential. Sure we like her in films like “Marley and Me” (2008) but this is where she really shines, not movies like “Love Happens” (2009). Will Poulter plays the teenage loser, Kenny. He is plenty awkward in the film but in a good way, that’s the type of characters he plays and plays it like a charm. Emma Roberts plays her part perfectly as the “homeless” teenager. She is sarcastic and mean spirited but at the same time likeable. Ed helms plays….Ed Helms, except a much more douchebag version of himself. He is one of those actors that will be filling the same role in every movie which isn’t always a bad thing. Ed Helms does fine work as Brad, Clark’s boss, and gets enough screen time. The rest of the cast is good, not especially amazing but does fine work for the roles they need to fill. If it wasn’t for the main players, this film would have fallen apart.
The movie doesn’t live up to potential. It was funny at times and the stellar cast bumped the film up a few points but it can’t save itself. It is drags at places and never finds it’s pacing, most of the humor is a big loud miss and the script is unfocused and pretty predictable. The characters were good but they aren’t ones I would want to revisit in a sequel at all.