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Brandeis University's Community Newspaper — Waltham, Mass.

“We’re the Millers,” a comedy that pulls on heartstrings

Published: September 27, 2013
Section: Arts, Etc.

If you’re looking for a great comedy to brighten up your day or relieve stress from the impending doom of midterms, look no further than “We’re the Millers”. The movie, released in mid-August, features Jennifer Aniston, Jason Sudeikis, Emma Roberts and Will Poulter. With raunchy and mildly offensive humor at times, the movie is guaranteed to have you laughing out loud.

The movie begins by focusing on the life of David Clarke, a low-level marijuana dealer and his interesting set of neighbors: a stripper (Aniston), a nerdy kid (Poulter) and gutter punk (Roberts). After being robbed of his entire stash, David’s supplier and drug lord Brad Gunslinger (Ed Helms) forces him to go to Mexico and smuggle marijuana across the border in order to erase his debt. Recognizing that this feat would be too risky for him alone, Clarke assembles his eclectic group of neighbors, hiring them all to be his fake family to venture to Mexico and return with the marijuana in a rented RV. The movie follows the four as they develop a familial bond, are pursued by Mexican drug thugs and encounter a true all-American family that comes up several times throughout their journey.

The story progresses as the “family” faces a series of conflicts. The two main plotlines involve obtaining the drugs and bring them back to the United States, and the developing relationships among the members of the Millers. Just as the viewer thinks the Millers have faced all obstacles one could possibly face on this ridiculous journey, another hilarious twist is thrown their way, leaving the viewer unable to breathe between laughs.

The Millers end their journey a new group of people than when they first began their trek to Mexico. Having endured being chased by drug thugs, a crazy swinger couple and the tumultuous experience of spending every moment with each other in the enclosed space that is their RV, the Millers emerge with a strong bond as opposed to the vitriolic and selfish attitudes with which they began their journey.

The actors form a great team, with Sudeikis portraying the selfish money-hungry David, while Aniston displays a dichotomy of rough around the edges stripper trying to get by and innate motherly figure in her character Rose. Poulter displays nerdy and dim-witted Kenny very well, with hilarious reactions to unbelievable situations such as having a tarantula crawl into his shorts and being taught how kiss by making out with his fake sister and mother simultaneously. The movie is further supplemented by its guest stars. Helms portrays the effeminate drug lord, Gunslinger, and Nick Offerman portrays an all-American father and undercover DEA agent.

While billed as a comedy, one can’t but help develop a desire for the “Millers” to form a cliché mushy familial bond. Through all the ridiculousness that ensues, I could not stop rooting for the quartet to develop the bonds and relationships they all seemed to lack in their real lives. As a bonus, the chaos that ensued on the screen had me laughing so hard my stomach hurt.