We’re the Millers (2013)
“-If anyone asks.”
Director: Rawson Marshall Thurber
Cast: Jason Sudeikis, Jennifer Aniston, Emma Roberts
Synopsis: A veteran pot dealer creates a fake family as part of his plan to move a huge shipment of weed into the U.S. from Mexico.
Dysfunctional families are a mainstay of movie comedy, and We’re the Millers cleverly plays on its viewers familiarity with that fact by creating a family purely for the purpose of smuggling a mammoth RV full of marijuana across the border from Mexico to USA. The family is the brainchild of David Clark (Jason Sudeikis), a likeable drugs pusher who finds himself $30,000 in debt to his dealer – and former college mate – Brad Gurdlinger (Ed Helms) when he’s mugged by a couple of street kids. Gurdlinger isn’t too sympathetic about Clark’s plight, but offers him a reprieve from punishment plus a payment of $100,000 if he agrees to transport a ‘smidge’ of marijuana across the border for him. This is an offer that Clark can’t refuse – because, as Gurdlinger makes clear, it’s actually an order.
Clark knows he hasn’t got a chance of making it back across the border if he works alone, which is when he hits upon the idea of creating a clean-cut all-American family to provide the camouflage for his illicit mission. His recruits to this fool-proof plan are Kenny Rossmore (Will Poulter), the 18-year-old virgin who lives in the apartment downstairs from Clark, Casey Mathis (Emma Roberts), the anti-social homeless girl who was being mugged by the thugs whose attention turned to Clark after Kenny insisted on rescuing her, and Rose O’Reilly (Jennifer Aniston — Leprechaun, ‘Til There was You), a stripper who also lives in Clark’s apartment block and who has been steadfastly rejecting his advances, but whose dire financial straits persuade her to go along with his scheme.
Naturally, the ‘simple’ journey across the border and back again proves to be anything but, especially as that ‘smidge’ Gurdlinger was talking about is actually about 2 tons. Amongst the weird characters the Millers – the name with which Clark christens his ready-made family – meet are an apparently strait-laced middle-aged couple (Nick Offerman — 21 Jump Street — and Kathryn Hahn) who have turned to sex toys to solve their bedroom problems, a vengeful drugs lord (Tomer Sisley) and his one-eyed sidekick (Matthew Willig), and a homosexual police officer (Luis Guzman — Carlito’s Way) demanding either a bribe or a sexual favour from the male members of the Millers.
The humour in We’re the Millers is of the type that’s likely to offend the more stuffy viewer. You know who they are – they’re the ones who would visit a strip show and complain about all the nudity. Let’s face it, an R-rated comedy isn’t going to be serving up Jerry Lewis-style laughs, now is it? Its humour is going to be smutty and subversive, so why act all outraged when the obvious happens? Anyway, the humour in We’re the Millers is consistently funny, and Jason Sudeikis handles the lead role with an easy-going charm and confidence that has you liking a character that you really shouldn’t. Jennifer Aniston makes the most of her role – which some feminists might find offensive – although she’s a lot stronger when her character unknowingly slips into ‘mum’ mode than as a battle-hardened stripper. Emma Roberts isn’t really given enough to do, but Will Poulter nearly steals the movie as the endearingly dorky but sweet-natured Kenny.