We’re The Millers

We're the Millers - quad posterDirector: Rawston Marshall Thurber

Cast: Jason Sudeikis, Jennifer Aniston, Emma Roberts, Will Poulter, Nick Offerman, Kathryn Hahn, Ed Helms

Cert: 15

Running time: 110mins

Year: 2013


The lowdown:  Class A comedy from the director of Dodgeball, with small time pot dealer Dave (Sudeikis) hiring a fake family to get him and two tons of weed over the Mexican border and off the hit-list of his gleefully corrupt supplier (Helms) .  Snarky stripper Rose (Aniston), potty-mouthed runaway Casey (Roberts) and vacuous virgin Kenny (Will Poulter) join him for the ride, but things go south down South and the quarrelsome quartet are soon fleeing for their lives from a particularly peeved drug lord.  National Lampoon’s Vacation, Up In Smoke and The Joneses are all rolled into what may be the filthy, feel-good hit of the summer.

We're the Millers - RV, Sudeikis, Aniston, Roberts, PoulterWe're The Millers - Aniston, striptease, stripper

The full verdict: In Pineapple Express, Harold and Kumar and most other drug-related comedies, humour stems from substance-addled characters trying to function in straight society.

In We’re The Millers, dope dealer-turned smuggler Dave is wasting his life but we never see him (or anyone else) wasted. Despite featuring “enough weed to kill Willie Nelson”, this trip is purely literal, the laughs coming from the titular foursome’s attempts to be a ‘normal’ family.

After a succession of films standing and swearing next to more recognisable faces, Sudeikis gets his shot at the title. His shlubby on-screen persona works well for the responsibility-shirking Dave, shifting from sleazeball to square with breezy charm.

Everyone’s fourth favourite Friend tries once more to shake her (19 years and counting) girl-next-door image, with some success courtesy of profane Pictionary outbursts, inappropriate mother-son bonding and misadventures with a “weed baby”.

We're the Millers - Sudeikis, Aniston, Roberts, Poulter, weed babyL14A2145.dng

But her much-hyped stripteases are more reminiscent of those Christmas M&S ads that excite Dads than the raunchy ‘Rachel reveals all’ promised.

Emma Roberts ‘ spiky teenage troublemaker may not be much of a stretch, but there are touching moments between her and Aniston, as the world weary Rose tries to dissuade her ‘daughter’ from making the same bad choices.

British up-and-comer Poulter provides the big crack-ups as bemused mooncalf Kenny.  Described by director Thurber as “adorkable”, Poulter plays the socially challenged teen as sweet and gauche rather than a goofy fool, his permanently arched eyebrows punctuating every mishap with innocent incredulity.

L14A2044.dngWe're the Millers - Poulter, Aniston, Roberts, threesome

Support comes from the always dependable Nick Offerman (of TV’s Parks and Recreations) and SNL’s Kathryn Hahn as seemingly strait-laced RV enthusiasts providing good laughs and a nice counterpoint to the ‘dysfunctional’ Millers.

Also gratifying is seeing Helms finally shaking off his Hangover and enjoying himself as the extravagant, Orca-loving Brad.

On the downside there are plot holes aplenty, some punchlines are signposted way too far in advance, the improv is sometimes hit, sometimes miss, and Dave’s scruples yo-yo as the jokes demand (he won’t deal to kids but coerces Kenny into an illicit act to save his skin).

But, the cast’s easy going chemistry and an above average gag rate makes We’re The Millers foul-mouthed fun that’ll leave you on a high.

Angela Britten