Normally I don’t like to watch trailers for comedy films as they generally reveal way too much and the best jokes are put in and the film ends up just being a let down. I saw the trailer for WE’RE THE MILLERS while I was at the cinema to see something else, and I thought to myself ‘yes this looks okay, but how much has been put into the trailer?’ The good thing though, the trailer didn’t reveal all that much and it did not spoil too many of the jokes, and overall I had a pretty fun time with the film, it isn’t the greatest comedy ever made but it is enjoyable and not overly crude, with a cast that worked very well together.
The story here is about David (Jason Sudeikis), he is a small time drug dealer who is in debt after his stash and money get stolen. To make up for it, he agrees to go on a drug run to Mexico for Brad Gurdlinger (Ed Helms). But in order to get in and out inconspicuous, David rounds up some people so they can pose as a family and travel back in an RV without anyone thinking twice about what they are doing. He gets his neighbour Rose (Jennifer Aniston) who works as a stripper and needs the money, runaway Casey (Emma Roberts) and lonely neighbour kid Kenny (Will Poulter). They run into trouble along the way, don’t get along and risk getting caught, bring on the laughs and adventure.
The big strength this film has is its cast, who work very well together and they share a very good chemistry. The dynamic changes throughout the film, and it does feel natural and the cast handles it very well. The jokes are hit and miss as it is with comedy, and I appreciate how hard the cast worked to try and deliver them to hit. There are some great laughs too from a family they run into whilst on the road with Don and Edie Fitzgerald (Nick Offerman and Kathryn Hahn). Again they share some great chemistry with everyone, and I really enjoyed the interactions between Sudeikis and Offerman. Some of the sillier moments that didn’t work came with Ed Helms and his character, it was just way too silly and didn’t work for me. I quite liked though that David is not meant to be a likeable character yet because Sudeikis puts in a very strong performance, he really made him a likeable guy and in other hands they may not have worked.
Straight out the film is a comedy and it does have some meaning behind it, more over finding family within friends and forming bonds. That does take a backseat for most of the time but when that family stuff comes out, I did really enjoy it. I didn’t need laughs constantly to enjoy the film, and when the heart was shown it was good. The film isn’t wholly original, and it does suffer from having typical elements and perhaps with some more original stuff it may have been a bit better. It is what it is, I know that some things work for some people and not for others, such is the way of the comedy.
The performances as stated are really good, and I like Jason Sudeikis as an actor, he can hit both the dramatic tones and comedy tones. As a comedian I think he’s great, and this was a very good role for him. The chemistry between him and Aniston was there and I am glad they got to play against each other here. Aniston is not someone I am a huge fan of, mainly she winds up playing the same character over and over. However with her turn in HORRIBLE BOSSES she played very much against type and it worked great for her. She does the same here playing a stipper and generally being something other than a romantic lead. The woman delivers here, I really liked her a lot, and while she is not convincing as a stripper (under playing it big time) she was good with her other scenes. Emma Roberts is one I did not immediately recognise and I was surprised, I liked her here a lot as this was different for her and she was a likeable character. The one I really did not recognise though was Will Poulter, who stars in one of my favourite films of the 00’s SON OF RAMBOW. Yes he has grown up and he was fantastic here, he really played the character well and I believed him. Offerman and Hahn are fantastic and were great additions to the cast, I liked them a lot and they really provided a good dynamic against the fake family
WE’RE THE MILLERS is a rather decent and often funny comedy film, it is refreshing to get a comedy that wasn’t completely spoiled by the trailer and one that isn’t overly offensive with full on crude humour. There is crude humour but it is done well and it isn’t way over baring or constantly right in your face. It is enjoyable and a nice surprise, whether it will still hold up on another viewing remains to be seen but I had fun and I wasn’t offended.