A word-of-mouth hit at the summer box office, We’re The Millers is a moderately amusing comedy that wears out its welcome.
Jason Sudeikis plays David Clark, a single guy who sells weed and is pretty content with his lonely life. After a good deed gone wrong, he’s in the hole big-time to his boss (Ed Helms). In order to get square, he’s asked to go to Mexico to pick up some weed for his boss and bring it across the border. He decides that the best way to not draw attention to himself at customs would be to look like an All-American family man with his family in tow. He recruits his young neighbour Kenny (a scene-stealing Will Poulter), who hasn’t seen his own Mom in weeks, Casey (Emma Roberts), a teenager who chooses to live on the streets, and Rose (Jennifer Aniston), a stripper who lives in Jason’s building.
One of the silliest things about the movie is that Aniston is clearly by no means a dancer. The first time we see her, she’s on stage and we see her walk down the stage, and then we see a shot of her bending over at the stripper pole. The next scene she comes into the dressing room where a co-worker says “you’re such a good dancer”. There’s no evidence in this movie that Jennifer can dance one bit. A later sequence has Aniston posing a lot, but once again, no dancing. Clearly the focus was getting her body into top form (and she looks incredible), but no time was spent with a choreographer…but I digress.
The movie sets up its premise quickly and with a lot of energy. It’s fun watching David assemble his crew and try to pull this off. They run into Don and Edie (Parks and Recreation‘s Nick Offerman and Kathryn Hahn, reuniting with Aniston after Wanderlust), an over-the-top suburb family also on a road trip. The cast is game for just about anything, and that’s a lot of the enjoyment of the film. Aniston can play these comedies in her sleep, and it’s great seeing her have a little bit more of an edge (and a total potty mouth) as the stripper who just wants to get paid, and Sudeikis proves to be a likeable leading man.
The issue becomes that the road trip is endless. This movie clocks in a couple minutes under 2 hours. There’s no way it should have been this long. At one point, I figured it would be wrapping up and looked at the run time and there was still 30 minutes to go! Woody Allen once said that a movie should never be over 90 minutes unless it’s absolutely necessary…well, it’s not necessary here. The Heat also had a similar running time, but it managed to pull it off because it had a more complicated plot and more comedic set pieces. We’re The Millers simply runs out of gas in its last act and becomes tedious.
With its success at the box office and its ending that sets up a sequel, I’m sure we’ll be seeing The Millers again, but let’s hope they learn that less is more next time.