We’re the Millers (2013) Directed by Rawson Marshall Thurber. With Jennifer Aniston, Jason Sudeikis, Will Poulter and Emma Roberts.
Dodgeball director Rawson Marshall Thurber brings us We’re the Millers, a crime-comedy-caper-cum-road movie in which a friendly neighbourhood drug dealer (Sudeikis) is forced to drive to Mexico to move a truckload of narcotics over the US border. To do this, he conjures the idea of creating a false identity, casting himself as the head of an all-American (Ned Flanders-style) family. To help sell the illusion, he drafts in a local stripper (Aniston), a teenage runaway (Roberts) and a socially awkward boy (Poulter). Funny stuff ensues. Yes, it really does.
There’s a surprisingly sweet-acerbic dynamic between Sudeikis, Aniston, Poulter and Roberts playing the fake family thrown together and pitted against adversity, as they play their way through a generous helping of amusing scenes born out of the counterintuitive nature of their relationships. Of course, Sudeikis and Aniston’s comic talents have never been in question, and given the right quality of material to work with, they shine. But the real discovery of We’re the Millers, is how scene-stealingly funny Will Poulter is- fully committing to his role and diving in feet first with a performance that requires him to invite a whopping dose of humiliation upon himself for the overall good of the piece. Compare that to Jennifer Aniston, whose main moment in the film is to showcase how perfectly toned her body is – a raunchy strip sequence that outstays its welcome more or less straight away and goes on for what feels like minutes too long.
Putting aside my own weakness for anything set on the road, a main ingredient to the success of any feature-length comedy is a blending of character chemistry with a sense of a feelgood arc. We’re the Millers achieves this while being incredibly silly and often stupid, but crucially, harnesses those aforementioned aspects to a winning and warming effect. 1,2…3.5/5