Tuesday, August 27, 2013

We're The Millers [A Fat Jesus Movie Review]

We're The Millers is one of those movies I discounted initially, based off the premise and casting of this film. While I loved Jason Sudeikis and Jennifer Aniston in Horrible Bosses, they were greatly aided by a near perfect cast of characters. Emma Roberts one (and only) role I highly enjoyed was in Scream 4. While Will Pouter is someone that is a virtual unknown. I held out hope though. After seeing trailers and snippets of bit parts played by Ed Helms and Nick Offerman, I thought I could enjoy this. This is a movie that I started to believe could be half as good as Horrible Bosses. Upon watching with friends, it was a hugely fun afternoon, and a very fun movie.

We're The Millers follows the story of David Clark (Jason Sudeikis) as he becomes a drug mule who will transfer marijuana across the Mexican border. David is a down on his luck, small time pot dealer. Always flirting with his next door neighbor Rose O'Reilly (Jennifer Aniston), a stripper. He also deals with the downstairs neighbor, kid Kenny Rossmore (Will Pouter), and the runaway girl, Casey Mathis (Emma Roberts), who parks herself across the street from his apartment. One day Kenny decides to save Casey from a group of thugs and David has to get involved. This leads to a beat down, allowing the thugs to steal all of David's things. The next day his boss, Brad Gurdlinger (Ed Helms), gives him the assignment mentioned earlier, to make up for the losses. David must travel to Mexico in a world class RV and bring it back filled with the drugs. David hatches an idea that will makes things easier on him. He recruits Rose, Kenny, Casey to form a family on a vacation to Mexico, to mask the drug movement. David also agrees to give each person a cut of the money he makes. Along the way, they become more than just four people out to make a buck. They start to become a family, even though none of them are remotely related.

We'll start with the bad here, because this is a pretty good comedy, that I think is a bit underrated. But, the bad is pretty bad, and I'll compare this at times to Horrible Bosses cause to me they're oddly alike. The story in this is very straightforward. Guy loses his drugs, is given an oddly specific task and then nothing quite goes right until delivery is made. The problem is there's a lot of unnecessary sincerity sprinkled throughout this. I never went into this wanting to have that feel good moment. That may sound a little weird, but I wanted it to be a raunchy comedy, that I could laugh at. Which I did. I can understand the bond growing between the people, but sometimes it was a bit too much. This brand of comedy didn't really mesh well with it. While I appreciate character development as much as the next movie watcher, this didn't feel like the movie where I needed to really know these people. Also there were a lot of scenes that just plain weren't needed or were too long. A lot of the scenes involving Nick Offerman, as much as I like him, and Katheryn Hahn, were just plain boring. While there were a couple of good moments involving the two, keeping them at the level Ed Helms had would've done this movie a lot of good. It felt long for a comedy because it was pretty long for a comedy. At almost two hours, you're really going hit or miss with all the gags, jokes, development, and anything else you wanna throw in. Combine all that with misplaced story (maybe even subplot) of love, trust and growing close with those around you. This comedy hits hard with the funny, but not with (some of) the sentiments they put in with it.

The good in this is pretty simple. It's funny. It's a comedy that does it job. Like I said above the story and writing is pretty rocky, but not when it comes to the bits and jokes. As with all comedies, and you know movies, humor and enjoyment are highly objective. This is one that got legit laughs out of me. The majority of the bits and gags were good, and it's littered with one-liners that get you out of nowhere, so to speak. The comedic timing and rhythm of everyone is great. Obviously Jason Sudeikis, and to a lesser extent Jennifer Aniston, have the whole comedy thing down. I've never thought of Emma Roberts as a girl with a funny bone, and I had no idea who Will Pouter heading into this. BUT they all meshed together so well. For people who have barely worked together before, the exception being Sudeikis and Aniston, they felt like they've all known each other for decades. The timing for jokes was impeccable. At points there's a lot of rapid fire jokes, so it warrants a re-watch (especially if gets an extended or unrated cut) to catch everything. The characters being portrayed well adds into all this. You get to see them as they are. Then they put on the false front, but they're still the ones shown to you struggling and just trying to make ends meet. It's like you're watching a character, playing another character, while being themselves. If that makes any sense to you. But to me it works so well in capturing the essence of everyone involved. Bottom line is, this is a comedy, you watch a comedy to laugh, it made me laugh, it did it's job perfectly.

I maybe should've left that last line there for my closing thoughts, but we'll see where I ramble with this. We're The Millers was a bit of a surprise to me, as you read in my first paragraph. I wasn't sold on the casting and plot, but the comedy looked halfway decent. Jason Sudeikis, Jennifer Aniston, Emma Roberts and Will Pouter are a great on-screen team. One of them in each scene is gonna make you laugh or even crack a smile. This isn't a movie that's gonna win the Oscar for Best Screenplay, or even get high ratings. This is a fun (and funny) movie, that you can get your friends together to watch on movie night, and not be disappointed.

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