MRR Review: "We're the Millers"

Photo Credit: Warner Bros.

MRR Review: "We're the Millers"

Rating: R (Sexual content, language)
Length: 110 min
Release date: August 7, 2013
Directed by:Rawson Marshall Thurber
Genre: Comedy, Crime

"We're the Millers" is a 2013 film about a group of social outcasts who band together to pose as a classic American family. Jason Sudeikis plays David Clark, a small-time drug dealer who cooks up a scheme to masquerade as David Miller, the perfect family man. David works for a psychotic drug lord, selling marijuana to casual buyers, but his career takes a perilous turn when his boss gives him a new assignment. He must find a way to transport one of the largest hauls yet from Mexico to the United States.

David decides that the best way to pull off the job and get the massive amount of drugs past customs is to masquerade as an ideal modern family man. He hires a stripper named Rose O'Reilly, played by Jennifer Aniston, to pose as his wife. David then recruits Casey, a young runaway punk, to pretend to be his teenage daughter. Kenny, the overzealous good guy, rounds out the crew as the Millers' teenage son. Together, the mismatched family takes off in a huge RV on a lengthy road trip to the Mexican border.

In spite of the movie posters featuring the clean-cut Millers at their corny best, "We're the Millers" is hardly a family comedy. Instead, the film is a refreshingly edgy crime comedy that tackles the seedy underworld of drug dealing with a humorous bent. The Millers are as kooky as they are relatable, and audiences will find themselves cheering for the makeshift family. While their names may be faked, the family dynamic developed by the Millers becomes real throughout the film. David and Rose begin to care genuinely about each other as well as their surrogate youngsters, particularly when trouble arises that could threaten the safety of the whole group. They must learn to band together like a real family or risk losing everything.

Jason Sudeikis steals the show with his character's attempts to portray the flawless David Miller. He paints a caricature of the modern American man while simultaneously poking holes in the idea that any real person could fill such an archetype. David is deeply flawed, which makes him even more relatable as he attempts to be something he clearly is not. Jennifer Aniston is hilarious and charming as Rose Miller, acting as the perfect foil to David's goofy father figure. Rose is confident and charming and can't resist breaking character now and then for a well-timed barb at David or the kids. Like David, she realizes somewhere along the journey that she's actually capable of a whole lot more than she's been achieving in her life as a stripper.

The supporting cast adds plenty of depth and humor to an already hilarious storyline. The Millers cross paths with another family on the way to Mexico, and hijinks ensue as they try to impress their new friends, who turn out to be less than a normal American family themselves. "We're the Millers" delivers one of the most unique comedic storylines of any recent comedy film but manages to retain enough familiar elements to lure audiences in and keep them comfortable. Unlike other family vacation films, "We're the Millers" is loaded with edgy humor and an even edgier plot. Somehow, the film manages to fit in some warmth and emotional character development among the members of the Miller family.

What really sets "We're the Millers" apart from other recent comedy films is the fact that it delves into the crime aspect of the plot. The drug smuggling escapade is not merely a plot device in the backgroundžit's a central element of the film. There are plenty of fast-paced action scenes to keep things suspenseful and lively, reminiscent of some of the great heist films of the classic crime genre. The blend of an all-star comedy cast and a solid crime plot makes "We're the Millers" a unique film sure to cross over between the crime and comedy film genres.

"We're the Millers" has everything a great summer comedy needs to succeed: The plot is unique and delivers more than a few thrills and surprise twists. The main cast is lovable but flawed, making it easy for audiences to relate and find even more humor in their bizarre situation. Jason Sudeikis is more than believable as a bumbling drug dealer trying to live as a family man, while Jennifer Aniston balances him out with witty one-liners and plenty of charm. The supporting cast members deliver plenty of laughs, striking just the right balance between comedy and crime thriller. Fans of both genres should certainly give the Millers a chance this summer.

Rating: 3 out of 5