We're The Millers is a movie that's almost good and that's occasionally entertaining.
The story follows a low level drug dealer, David (Jason Sudeikis), who finds himself in a desperate situation, when all of his money and drug supplies are stolen. The only way that his drug lord boss ( Ed Helms) will allow David to settle the debt, is by going down to Mexico and smuggling drugs across the border. David hatches a plan to make himself less suspicious while crossing the boarder that involves an RV and a fake all-American family. The fake family is comprised of misfits, Rose (Jennifer Aniston) a former stripper desperate for money, Casey (Emma Roberts) a runaway needing a home and Kenny (Will Poulter) a kid needing guidance. The newly comprised family endures a bumpy journey filled with danger, crazy people and the hardest task of all, being stuck in an RV together.
The primary problem with We're The Millers is that the story has a severe lack of a cohesive identity when it comes to tone. Sometimes the comedic elements are completely outlandish and feel like an Austin Powers movie and then sometimes they are tenderhearted and sentimental. The movie vacillates between absurd and realistic, refusing to pick a side.
I felt like I was watching a movie that had different writers with conflicting visions, yet everyone got to add their little bit in, especially with regard to comedy. It was kind of like watching a bunch of comedians riffing, each trying to out-funny the other, but none of them are very funny or clever. One of the worst bits was the introduction to David's drug lord boss. He has an office surrounded by a giant aquarium and a killer whale swims by and eats a shark. It made zero sense, but you could tell that some writer thought that it was hilarious, so it stayed in the movie. It was an inside joke that no one in the audience got. Ridiculous.
The bones of the story were okay and it generally made sense, but the cast is what makes this movie watchable. With the exception of Jennifer Aniston, who is not believable for one second as an aging stripper, the movie is well cast. In particular, I liked Will Poulter as Kenny, a kid that is just so naive that you want to give him a hug. Poulter has some of the best and most unexpected comedic moments in the movie and he steals the show. Jason Sudeikis is great at playing the straight-man in a cast of crazy characters. Some of the best parts of the movie involve a nutty family that the Millers meet on the road, with the parents in the family hilariously played by Kathryn Hahn and Nick Offerman.
We're The Millers was entertaining enough to find its niche as an over-played cable television offering, but not worth the price of seeing it on the big screen.