Comedy these days is tricky. There are so many films out there that blur those lines to the point where finding a comedy that is undoubtedly ‘funny’ can be difficult. What is comedy? What is funny? Why are there so many dramedies, and what does that even mean anymore? Why is Adam Sandler still making movies? Every once in a while though, a film comes along that pretty much defines ‘comedy’, that recklessly throws laughs your way, all caution to the wind, balls to the wall, ‘git ‘er done’ attitude that makes you smile ear to ear.
I can’t promise perfection, but this is clearly comedy!
Conceptually, this sounds like something that really shouldn’t work. I mean, it is so ridiculous in concept that it really feels and looks like something that should crash and burn in the first act. Thankfully, the trailer delivered a smidgen of hope in a cast that looked really up to par with the outlandish material, because if it hadn’t been for the cleverly cut trailer, I may have passed on this entirely.
I’m glad that I didn’t.
‘We’re the Millers’ tells the story of David Clark, an immature and self-centered man who never grew up. He still sells pot and lives in a pretty crumby apartment building. When his neighbor Kenny decides he wants to save a hobo from a group of thugs, David winds up getting beaten and robbed and essentially screwed since he now owes his boss, Brad Gurdlinger, a lot of money. That is when he is given an ultimatum; go to Mexico and pick up a ‘smidgen’ of weed, or die. Enlisting the help of the neighbor boy, the hobo and a stripper who lives in his building, David disguises himself as a family man taking a trip to Mexico in their RV. Getting in is easy, but getting out with a lot more than a smidgen, while being tailed by a pretty crazy family, is going to be difficult.
Now, I’m going to ask a question. Have you seen ‘RV’? You know, that 2006 Robin Williams’ comedy. Well, these two films are essentially the same film, only this one has drugs and cursing. Seriously, they are pretty much the same thing. I will admit to finding ‘RV’ rather hilarious, but there is something to be said for inappropriate humor and Jason Sudeikis dry sense of delivery. This movie works so well!
My only real qualm here is that the film is too long. At nearly two hours, the final act stretches itself thin and really should have been trimmed. It isn’t without moments of hilarity, but the film starts to feel like it is running out of steam.
But MY GOD this ensemble is brilliant. Jennifer Aniston is perfection here, proving once again that her charm works just as well on the big screen as it did on the small. Newcomer Will Poulter is spot on here and should have a big career if he can find the right roles, avoiding being typecast (which I fear will happen to him). Nick Offerman and Kathryn Hahn have that ‘crazy RV family’ on lock, and Jason Sudeikis anchors this movie with all the right inflections of humor. Really though, this movie is all about Emma Roberts (possibly the funniest performance I’ve seen all year) and Ed Helms (brilliant) who bring the funny in so many ways. Helms has a few scenes, but they are some of the funniest. His line delivery alone is fantastic. But Roberts is MVP here, and I never thought I’d say that.
If you want something that is just straight up comedy, with absolutely nothing held back, then this is the film for you.
I give this a solid B+. Like I said, it runs a tad long, but it makes up for it with gags and jokes that land every time, and really, if it hadn't dragged on we would have missed out on Mr. No Ragrets, and that would have been a real shame; know what I'm sayin'!