“We’re the Millers” is a family comedy, if your family is twisted with an R-rated sense of humor.
Former “Saturday Night Live” star Jason Sudeikis plays a 30-something Denver pot dealer named David. Working out of his backpack, David deals weed with funny names that can’t be repeated here to suburban housewives and businessmen. He’s got a mop-top, permanent five o’clock shadow and not a care in the world — or at least that’s what he’d like everybody to believe.
Other than his clients, David’s social interaction seems limited to the people who live in his walkup apartment building. That includes Kenny, played by Will Poulter, an innocent 18-year-old who looks up both to David and to Jennifer Aniston’s Rose, a stripper. Kenny treats David like a father figure while David treats Kenny like a dog, and Rose hates David, who just wants Rose to cover her boyfriend’s drug debt.
But David has a soft spot for Kenny after all, which we learn when Kenny attempts to save a homeless girl named Casey (Emma Roberts) from a group of thugs across the street from their apartment building. Realizing Kenny’s in over his head, David reluctantly steps in to rescue the pair but winds up being beaten by the thugs, who take his money and weed. This doesn’t bode well, since he owes his supplier, Brad (Ed Helms), thousands of dollars.
Have I mentioned that just about everything that has happened thus far is funny? It is.
Brad gives David the opportunity to square things by smuggling some drugs across the Mexican border for him. How is a small-time pot dealer going to quickly become a big-time drug mule? By convincing Kenny, Rose and the homeless girl to pose as his family, drive into Mexico in an RV and leave Mexico with that RV stuffed with premium-grade marijuana.
Sudeikis, Aniston, Poulter and Roberts have excellent chemistry. If you were concerned whether Sudeikis would have a post-SNL career, you need not be. The guy is hilarious and can carry a film. Aniston, who’s struggled a bit with her post-Friends movie career, is a force of nature here, leaving little to the imagination as a stripper and once again displaying the timing and personality that once made her one of TV’s biggest stars. In fact, just about everybody who shows up in this movie, most notably “Parks and Recreation’s” Nick Offerman and Kathryn Hahn, makes you laugh–a testament not just to their skill, but also to the instincts of director Rawson Marshall Thurber, who clearly knew how to put his formidable and funny cast in position to thrive.
While “We’re the Millers” is pure farce, its cringe-worthy humor does possess an undercurrent of warmth and heart that will might make you wish your father was a pot dealer, your mother a stripper and your siblings a homeless runaway and clueless virgin. Really, though, it’s also a funny dissertation on family dysfunction, the family dynamic and the definition of family itself.
Three-and-a-half out of five stars.