movie film review | chris tookey

We're The Millers

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  We're The Millers Review
Tookey's Rating
6 /10
Average Rating
3.70 /10
Jennifer Aniston, Ed Helms, Jason Sudeikis
Full Cast >

Directed by: Rawson Thurber
Written by: Bob Fisher, Steve Faber, Sean Anders, John Morris, based on a story by Fisher and Faber

Released: 2013
Origin: US
Colour: C
Length: 110

Too gross, but funny.
Reviewed by Chris Tookey

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We’re the Millers is another film that fails to live up to the promise of the director’s first movie. Rawson Marshall Thurber gave us the unexpectedly hilarious Dodgeball. We’re the Millers, like Elysium, has enough about it to show that the director has talent, but falls disappointingly short of being a great movie.

It tries and just about succeeds in making us care about a middle-aged drug-dealer (Jason Sudeikis) who needs to smuggle an enormous stash of pot into America, across the Mexican border. To achieve this, he rents a huge recreational vehicle and recruits a striptease artist (Jennifer Aniston, pictured) to be his wife, a homeless girl with piercings (Emma Roberts) to be his daughter and the gormless 18 year-old who lives in the same apartment building (Will Poulter) to be his son.

The script development is funnier and more ingenious than you might expect, and the actors have the comic timing to pull most of it off.

The standout is young Brit Poulter, who finds sweetness, depth and complexity in a role that might easily have been cliched. Aniston is a better comedienne than most people realise, and has perfected the art of the quizzical reaction shot. Sudeikis has a goofy charm that almost – but not quite - offsets the tackiness of the guy he’s playing.

The one misfit is Roberts, who is noticeably outclassed and brings an air of blandness to a role that needed the kind of edge that the young Christina Ricci brought to her teenage appearances.

A more serious weakness, however, is that the screenplay relies far too much on sexual crudeness. Not only does it fail to be funny when it does so, it never convinces that the people who express themselves with such toe-curling explicitness would ever do so in real life, least of all in front of strangers.

The result is a film that contains more than a few laughs but never coheres. Tonally, there’s a battle between well-structured, family sitcom and sleazy, Hangover-style lewdness. The two don’t fit well together, and a lot of people over thirty are going to find the off-colour sexual references a good deal more offensive than I did.

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