I feel it’s almost necessary to start a review for We’re the Millers stating that Jason Sudeikis’ pot dealing character is never shown smoking marijuana or hinting that it could be smoked.
I’m also inclined to state that while Jennifer Aniston’s broke, erotic dancer character is occasionally shown in scantily clad underwear, it appears she also works in the only strip club establishment where other dancers stay covered.
These may sound like two nitpicks, but in a film that does so much right, it’s odd that these two details bypass the production when usually R-rated comedies like these get carried away with stoner jokes and nudity.
While its seemingly unusual, the comedy feels refreshing because of choices like these. It doesn’t feel the need to follow a familiar course to outdo other filthy comedies.
However, the road trip the “Millers” embark on to retrieve an RV load of weed takes on unexpected run ins and detours. Either because David (played by Sudiekis) doesn’t know how to drive an RV or oblivious friends and foes make the trip difficult for this ragtag fake family.
The jokes are still filled with f-bombs and sexual puns, but director Rawson Marshall Thurber and his screenwriters (Bob Fisher, Steve Faber, and Sex Drive’s Sean Anders and John Morris) know how to bring sharp, lively zest to accompany the scenes of awkwardness.
A lot of the jokes in We’re the Millers are set up in a way where the majority of characters are aware of something while an outsider stays clueless. If you aren’t a fan of this type of situational comedy, you’ll have a hard time digging Thurber’s film – as there is a lot of it. But, it always finds a way to stay fresh and funny.
A scene featuring “fake son” Kenny (played by Will Poulter) being taught kissing tutorials between his “Mom” (played by Aniston) and “Sister” (played by Emma Roberts) gets more ridiculous as it goes along, but with each step, the scene grows funnier. That said, it’s the puns involving mistaken incest that got the most laughs out of me. That’s a weird thing to realize and even weirder to type out.
Sudeikis turns in a lead performance that’s impressive for a performer who rarely takes prominent roles in movies. He’s a very charismatic smart aleck who always kept big laughs rolling. It was almost as if the sillier the movie got, the more fuel was added to Sudiekis’ fire.
My only gripe: sometimes David was too snappy, getting in the way of what was happening in a scene. Judging by the hilarious blooper reel, a lot of improv happened on set. While the quickness is appreciated amongst the cast and audience alike, next time, Thurber shouldn’t be afraid to get different takes that aren’t necessarily always pushing for laughs.
Judging by how much We’re the Millers was able to make me laugh, it’s easy to call it a hilarious success. It’s a film that pushes the duration envelope with 110 minutes, but it zips on by. I’d happily watch it again.
It also further solidifies my theory that if Hollywood decided to go through with a remake of National Lampoon’s Vacation or decided to spin off from that series, Sudiekis would be on speed dial to take the Chevy Chase role. He’d be suitable for the position, but I hope I’m not giving anyone any ideas. Given a choice between a cash grab reboot and a much more original work, I have a feeling he’d have more fun making people giggle in films like We’re the Millers.