Pauls Valley, OK, Pauls Valley Democrat

September 19, 2013

‘We’re the Millers’ well-polished low brow fun

Movie Review

Ezra Mann
Pauls Valley Democrat

Pauls Valley, Oklahoma — Massive brain cell lost may often be the result, but just the right execution of even the dumbest plot can come off as a winner if the cast can convince the audience they belong in their wacky roles. From just about any Leslie Neilson flick to examples like “Ace Ventura” or “Beavis and Butthead Do America,” stupid can mean lots of laughs and occasionally there comes a reminder like today’s example that rises above the rest.

The trick is not so much coming up with a fresh character type as the stereotypes that made them gold before still hold true, but rather tweaking the formula to feel just fresh enough and not a complete copy of something already done. Such is the case with today’s example involving the mismatched family element led by the stoner/druggie who goes on a ridiculously impossible mission. “We’re the Millers” succeeds for most audiences in just making the experience fun, if one can get past the occasional dive and roll around in the gutter.

Audiences are introduced this time around to a large city marijuana dealer named David Clark (Jason Sudeikis), who at first seems satisfied living life as a loner with no real ambitions of settling down. However, this illusion of satisfaction gets turned upside down when he is robbed of all his supply and cash after attempting to save his wimpy 18-year-old neighbor Kenny (Will Poulter) from some street thugs.

His drug supplier, Brad Gurdlinger (Ed Helms), doesn’t seem to sympathize with the situation and forces him on a highly dangerous drug running mission to Mexico in order to cover all the money owed. Realizing he can’t quite pull off crossing the border in his current state alone, he gets the genius idea of putting together a fake family to bypass suspicion including recruiting said wimpy boy, a stripper named Rose (Jennifer Aniston) and a runaway named Casey (Emma Roberts) to play his daughter. Insert roller coaster of absurdity where the gang is always one screw up away from spending the rest of their life behind bars with gags that are best enjoyed if one is not easily offended.

One of the most enjoyable elements of this flick is that the people playing this unusual family feel at times more real than people who are supposed to be related. It’s undeniably crude off and on, but there’s a layer of honesty beneath the lies that might make one examine how we might do better to avoid failing at working out the problems that come along.

The best comparison I can make to what I’ve seen before is a “Pineapple Express” meets “RV” that’s certainly only appropriate toward the voting age side of the viewership. The key thing is the experience was worth sitting through it all and something I’d certainly consider watching again at least rental wise. The end result is a verdict of three and a half out of five arrests for “We’re the Millers.”

Movie viewing experience courtesy of the Royal Twin Theater of Pauls Valley.