WE'RE THE MILLERS
David Burke (Jason Sudeikis) is a small-time pot dealer preferring to keep a low profile. When he tries to help out some local teens, he winds up getting jumped by a trio of gutter punks. Stealing his stash and his cash, they leave him in debt to his supplier, Brad (Ed Helms). In order to wipe the slate clean David becomes a big-time drug smuggler by bringing Brad's latest shipment in from Mexico. Twisting the arms of his neighbours, cynical stripper Rose (Jennifer Aniston) and wannabe customer Kenny (Will Poulter), and the tatted-and-pierced streetwise teen Casey (Emma Roberts), he devises a foolproof plan. One fake wife, two pretend kids and a huge, shiny RV later, the "Millers" are headed south of the border for a unique Fourth of July weekend.
Review by Louise Keller:
The irony of this low-brow comedy is that it is not the intended crude jokes and bad language for easy laughs that works best in its favour, but the against-type casting that injects an unexpected notion of innocence in scenes that could otherwise be offensive. That's not to say there is much about We're The Millers that is in good taste, but even scenes like the one in which Jennifer Aniston's breasts are fondled by an experimenting lesbian in a would-be swingers encounter seem like harmless fun. Less so for the monster spider bite that prompts inflamed testicles. Offering some chuckles along the way, the film delivers exactly what it promises - a crass Hollywood tall tale about drugs, sex and family - with a glossy ending. And some questionable outtakes.
Directed by Rawson Marshall Thurber (Dodge Ball: A True Underdog Story), it feels as though the four screen writers may have sat around a table with a few beers in a bid to concoct the wildest characters in the most outlandish situations. The trouble is, we have difficulty in believing that nice-guy Jason Sudeikis is a long-time, small-time drug dealer or that Jennifer Aniston is a stripper, with on the job glimpses that are meant to be tantalising but look contrived, tame and unconvincing.
Of course we are supposed to know that underneath it all, they are misunderstood - after all, Aniston quits her job when she learns that strippers must have sex with their clients. There is a likeable chemistry between Sudeikis and Aniston, who both look as though they are having fun. The same applies to Will Poulter and Julia Roberts' daughter Emma Roberts, who play a dorky outcast and an extremely well-adjusted street kid respectively. Poulter is especially good and the scene in which Roberts and Aniston give him a lesson in kissing is one of the film's funniest.
The basic plot involves Sudeikis agreeing under duress to transport 'a smidge' (read: two tons) of marijuana from Mexico and the film's joke is that he fabricates the purer than pure, all-American family in a RV from a bunch of misfits. The idea of the other family in the RV (nicely played by Nick Offerman, Kathryn Hahn and Molly Quinn) who have their own secrets is cleverly conceived and well executed. It is credit to the whole cast that the scene in which a bale of marijuana covered by a baby blanket works as well as it does, delivering a hilarious punch line.
Don't expect any life lessons from this upbeat, downmarket comedy, but you may enjoy a laugh or two.
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WE'RE THE MILLERS (MA15+)
CAST: Jennifer Aniston, Emma Roberts, Ed Helms, Jason Sudeikis, Molly C. Quinn, Nick Offerman, Kathryn Hahn, Thomas Lennon, Will Poulter, Matthew Willig
PRODUCER: Chris Bender, Vincent Newman, Tucker Tooley, Happy Walters
DIRECTOR: Rawson Marshall Thurber
SCRIPT: Bob Fisher, Steve Faber
CINEMATOGRAPHER: Barry Peterson
EDITOR: Michael L. Sale
MUSIC: Ludwig Goranson, Theodore Shapiro
PRODUCTION DESIGN: Clayton Hartley
RUNNING TIME: 110 minutes
AUSTRALIAN DISTRIBUTOR: Roadshow
AUSTRALIAN RELEASE: August 15, 2013
RIVERSIDE SCREEN PREMIERES
A program of premiere screenings of new movies prior to their commercial release
on 6 consecutive Tuesdays, starts February 17, 2015 at Riverside Theatre,
Curated & presented by Andrew L. Urban, discussion to
follow with special guests. Briefing notes provided.