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We’re the Millers likeable and funny

Paul Peterson

Paul Peterson

So the summer wears on and so does my patience – with the lack of anything that holds my interest and then along comes a fun little film that while it isn’t great, has so many good parts it restores my faith in Hollywood. Ok that’s way too far a reach but We’re The Millers is a lot of fun.
It should be. It’s got great lineage.

Directed by the pretentiously named Rawson Marshall Thurber, who also helmed the very funny Dodgeball A True Underdog Story; and written by the boys who gave us Wedding Crashers. What I like about their work is there are all these little non-sequiters wrapped up in a great story line and layers and layers of character development.

They take likeable characters put them in funny circumstances and make them more likeable. It’s a good gig.
So the only thing we need to round out the trifecta of talent is good casting, and as it turns out, the Millers are pitch perfect. Jason Sueikis stars as David, the small-time drug dealer who has to bring back a load of weed from Mexico or his supplier is going to kill him. His supplier is played with over-the-top glee by Ed Helms. He’s a nerdy sociopath who seems to take great joy in being a douche bag.

Our story so far.
David gets ripped off so he can’t pay his supplier who agrees to pay him 500,000 and let him off the hook for his debt if he smuggles in a “bit” of weed from Mexico. David figures it’s an easy score if he puts together a fake family and brings it back in an RV so he puts together his dream family. First he convinces Kenny,  the nerdy kid in the building to help him out. Kenny is played by the very serious English actor Will Poulter.
I think he actually makes the whole film work. He reminds me of Anthony Michael Hall. He’s genuine and funny and manages to bring out all the good qualities in this mismatched crew. I’m a fan. I also think it’s cool that he’s the kid from Son of Rambow one of those mini classics that no one saw.

Casey is the runaway that we think might end up being Kenny’s romantic interest but as it turns out, that’s saved for another RVer. She’s funny and abrasive and seems to bond with Rose immediately. She does seem awfully clean and well dressed for a runaway street kid but reality doesn’t matter.

Then there’s Rose
I am slowly coming over to Team Aniston. I initially thought she was just a pain and seemed like a buzzkill but I am open to the possibility that I’m wrong. I was never a big Friends fan. I understand it was funny and added  How You Doin? to the cultural landscape but I never watched it and haven’t really been a fan of her movie work although I watched Just Go With It and she was ok and her role. Horrible Bosses was funny.  In this film she’s the stripper with the heart of gold and without the heroin habit. Totally believable. Her character here is powerful and I liked her. She’s sassy and smart and while this film has that cliched Hollywood concept of inevitable bonding it’s ok because at the end of the day, the film is funny.

There is a pacing that really works and David is just edgy and sarcastic enough to carry the film. The others rotate around him and challenge him to do better, be better. He’s a weasel but he’s not a bad guy.
The humor is definitely 14A make no mistake. From the language to the repeated shots of Kenny’s swollen bathing suit area after he gets bitten by the spider, it’s all rauchy and crude but very, very funny.

It’s also a chase film and some thinly veiled drug allegory but at the end of the day it’s good fun.
I think they overdid it with the trailer which showed just about every funny moment in the film but it’s got enough heart for me that there’s still plenty to sink your teeth into.
At least it’s funny. More than I can say for Grown Ups 2. Ya, I’m bitter.
As always, other opinions are welcome, but wrong.That’s it for this week. The cheque’s in the mail and I’m outta here. Paul.

Filed Under: News from Everywhere ElsePaul Peterson

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