Eat a Dick

It’s been about 3-4 weeks since I’ve seen We’re the Millers and certain aspects still stick, which is typically the hallmark of a good movie. But it’s probably not a good sign that I haven’t been motivated to put together even a few words about this film yet. Although this doesn’t sound like the start of a positive review, I enjoyed We’re the Millers for what it was—a mindless throwaway comedy.

It’s best not to look too much beyond the surface and try to avoid judging this movie for what it isn’t, which is a nice way of saying the schmaltzy feel-good scenes don’t work and the drama falls flat. I’m not going to give away very much much about the plot because it’s largely irrelevant. While the main character (played by Jason Sudeikis) is a drug dealer turned drug smuggler, this is not a stoner-centric comedy so don’t expect anything along the lines of Half Baked or Pineapple Express because it’s just not at that level.

Instead, We’re the Millers merely uses weed as the vehicle (literally, a giant fucking recreation vehicle) to propel the comedy. That is not inherently good or bad, but it can be seen as a signal that the movie doesn’t know what it is, should be, or how to market it. Hint: showing Jennifer Aniston awkwardly meandering and dancing around as a make-believe stripper is not the best way to showcase your movie.

I usually prefer a comedy that is rated-R (because no one loves a soggy watered-down turd), but We’re the Millers did not need to settle into that strata. It’s a confusing decision. If you’re casting Jennifer Aniston as a stripper and not showing any nudity, you’re only losing money. There was definitely a way to shoot this movie as a PG-13 comedy and reach a wider audience. I’m not saying that should have been avenue pursued, but it’s just difficult to understand because a rated-R comedy needs to push the boundaries and strive for a more nuanced tone–this movie does neither. But as I said, it’s best not to look too much beyond the surface of We’re the Millers. Forget about critiquing this movie for what it isn’t because it’s still an above-average comedic effort despite having some warts. In terms of the summer movie schedule, We’re the Millers slots in behind This Is the End and The World’s End thus far as a comedy.

Fuck YouThe best byproducts of this movie were that Jason Sudeikis proved he can carry a comedy and Will Poulter’s performance as an innocent teen fuck-up was quite enjoyable while Nick Offerman also shined in a supporting role. Honestly, I could’ve done without Emma Roberts and Jennifer Aniston in their respective roles, but that could easily just be a result of the writing because they weren’t interesting characters. Overall, there were some solid performances with effective comedic timing to make this a worthwhile moving-going experience.

I’m really fascinated with how We’re the Millers would have turned out if Steve Buscemi remained the lead, but you can say that about almost any movie because the names attached in the early stages rarely stick around through the end. Although the Buscemi incarnation could’ve had a much darker tone, We’re the Millers is a successful comedy with a sustained pace that doesn’t wane unnecessarily at any point even though 10 or 15 minutes could have easily been removed without interrupting the flow.

We’re the Millers won’t have a long shelf life and it’s perfectly excusable if you didn’t catch it the first time around, but you’ll enjoy the experience if you see it on cable, HBO, or Netflix in the near future.

3.5 out of 5 stars

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