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We're the Millers

by Leonard Maltin
August 7, 2013 12:00 AM
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Photo by Michael Tackett - Courtesy of Warner Bros. Pictures

I don’t ask a lot of a comedy: I want it to make me laugh, and We’re the Millers does just that. I was concerned that it would be too raunchy for my taste, but the writers fooled me, as they fully intended to do. Jason Sudeikis plays a likable, small-time Denver drug dealer who gets himself in hot water. The only solution is to do a favor for his supplier (Ed Helms) by going to Mexico and bringing an unspecified quantity of pot back across the border. Trying to figure out how to do it, Sudeikis stumbles onto a foolproof idea: pretend to be the head of an ordinary American family traveling in an RV. To fill out the required foursome he recruits a nerdy teenage neighbor (Will Poulter), an antisocial, heavily pierced street girl (Emma Roberts), and another neighbor who happens to be a stripper (Jennifer Aniston).

The ultimate joke of the movie is that these characters, who couldn’t be more unlike a “typical” American family, wind up bonding during the experience and find that they enjoy the roles they’ve been forced to play. Thus, the movie has its cake and eats it, too, by being wildly irreverent and featuring scuzzy characters (earning its R rating), then turning “soft” and showing us that we all have a fundamental need for family in our lives.

Photo by Michael Tackett - Courtesy of Warner Bros. Pictures

The performers are fully up to their respective tasks, and of course Aniston is called upon to bump and grind her well-toned body on more than one occasion. Costars Nick Offerman, Kathryn Hahn, and Molly Quinn all have their moments, and the supporting cast is dotted with familiar comedy faces including Tom Lennon, Ken Marino, and Luis Guzmán. Director Rawson Marshall Thurber wrings every bit of comedy out of the screenplay, which is credited to Bob Fisher & Steve Faber and Sean Anders & John Morris.

After so many disappointments this summer it’s refreshing to single out at least one major studio movie that delivers on its promise. We’re the Millers is an entertaining comedy.

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