Good comedies, as well as good films, have been rare this year. For every Alpha Papa, there’s been about 10 Movie 43‘s waiting to be released. It seems the days of the Frat Pack and Judd Apatow are dying out. Could it be possible that a Jennifer Aniston comedy could buck the trend? Small time pot dealer David (Sudeikis) is offered the payday of a lifetime if he can transport a truck load of marijuana over the Mexican border into the states. To do this, he assembles a fake family (as families are leas likely to be border checked) consisting of Rose (Aniston) a stripper, Casey (Roberts) a runaway and Kenny (Poulter)… who is just Kenny. They load up into a Winnebago and go on the ‘family’ trip of a lifetime.
From director Rawson Marshall Thurber (last seen directing Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story), the film strides the tricky balance of zany comedy and heartwarming sentimentality very well. It’s daft premise doesn’t add up to much but the characters are very fun. Aniston as a stripper is a big draw for audiences but sadly her character is one of the weaker parts of the film. Sudeikis on the other hand proves himself in the lead role, being relatable, fun and charming all at the same time. Poulter and Roberts are good fun too, but the real scene-stealers are Nick Offerman and Kathryn Hahn as the heads of the family who befriend the Millers. Their characters almost feel like a live action Hank and Peggy Hill which ends up being very entertaining.
The film runs just under 2 hours but feels quite well paced for a comedy, it’s only in the last 15 minutes that the film begins to drag. The jokes are pretty consistent, and whilst none of them are satirical or all that clever, they appeal to our base level appreciation of humour. Whilst the jokes aren’t entirely memorable (outside of Poulter singing TLC), they are fun and the two mentions of the word “anal” had this viewer in fits of laughter for some reason. Perhaps the fun tone of the film just willed more laughter.
Obvious plot problems aside, We’re the Millers proves to be very entertaining, filled with laughs and charm from beginning to end. Sudeikis achieves leading man status!