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Earlier this year, we wrote about another equally hilarious movie which ground us into the dirt by a proliferation of non-stop "f-bombs." Make no mistake, We're the Millers has its share of f-bombs-- just in case you are the kind of reader so offended by the almost common use of the word -- but they are few and far between. Just so's you know . . .
Reminding us of a Saturday Night Live sketch relegated to the last half hour of the show, We're the Millers is the kind of comedy that requires a large crowd of viewers to build a comedic momentum. We know this since our draft of the story description, reads like every bad SNL sketch which, you have learned over the years to ignore and go to bed (assuming you don't want to see the musical guest's second performance). With a big crowd in the right mood -- and we sat with one that was -- there are enough giggles and visual distractions to put We're the Millers into the category of disposable dateflick. And that said . . .
IN SHORT: Hilarious. [Rated R for crude sexual content, pervasive language, drug material and brief graphic nudity. 110 minutes]
Indeed, if we had viewed We're the Millers in a sterile screening room environment, the film would have probably dropped like a dud. But we watched with a real audience and they all laughed. That's all that counts.
David Clark (Jason Sudeikis) is a low level dealer of recreational herbal material. That means he sells pot. OTT, Dave has enough moral values that, when he see a trio of punks shaking down dopey 18 year old neighbor Kenny Rossmore (Will Poulter), he steps in to break it up. The net result? The punks beat him down. They break into his apartment to steal his stash and his cash. $43,000 worth of whatever. Boss man Brad Gurdlinger (Ed Helms) is none too thrilled about those events so, sleazy richer than sin dude that he is, Gurdlinger dispatches Dave to Mexico to retrieve a "small, smidgen amount of mari-ju-ah-nah. and bring it back to the good ol' U S of A..
Dave is smart enough to know that a single dude crossing the Mexican border is automatically suspect and, probably, a sure target for a strip search by Customs Agents at the border. Tourists, such as an RV filled with a mom and dad and kids can breeze through the border. So Dave manufactures a family. Kenny is easy, and stupid enough to take the trip just to see the sights. Neighbor Rose O'Reilly (Jennifer Aniston), not her real name, is a stripper who doesn't make the kind of money that NY strippers used to make back in the day. Just saying. Rose doesn't much like Dave but, when her boss changes her job description to something quite illegal; and her boyfriend runs off with their money and the landlord posts an eviction notice on what was "their" front door, well, Dave's offer of ten grand to pose as his wife looks too good to pass up. That leaves one more character to fill out the family unit. She would be an annoying runaway or homeless girl kid Casey Mathis (Emma Roberts) who makes a living breaking into parking meters and the like.
Drug lord Pablo Chacon (Tomer Sisley), who isn't around when Dave and Co. make the pick-up, which is overseen by Pablo's enforcer, nicknamed One-Eye (Matthew Willig) for obvious reasons. That "smidgen" turns out to be close to two tons of weed, stuffed into every nook and cranny of the RV. though a petty shakedown by a Mexican Cop (Luis Guzmán) adds virtually no tension to the overall story nothing is left but for the foursome to bond as a family and start behaving as such as they try to get the heck out of Mexico. Just for fun, there is another RV behind them on the route, with Don Fitzgerald (Nick Offerman), his wife Edie (Kathryn Hahn) and daughter Melissa (Molly Quinn) inside. Don is a 22 year veteran of the DEA -- he's a narc -- who feels as if his bosses are putting him out to pasture. Daughter Melissa is just shy enough to be a perfect match for the equally inept Kenny. That sets up a lovely subplot about the boy's first ever kiss and another subplot for the over-30s in the cast, which we won't discuss.
Casey has a minor romantic entanglement but there's little to report about it. As well, we should mention that Jennifer Aniston delivers a gratuitous strip dance in pseudo Victoria's Secret underwear, complete with a Flashdance style fake rain storm to wet everything down. Even in her fourth decade, Anniston's middle name is decidedly "yummy."
We will pause so that our female readers can scream obscenities at their computer screens. And now we will write that y'all should let the boys have their fun. There is enough funny stuff, and surprise plot twists in the rest of the story that, overall, We're the Millers will take its place as a good beginning, or middle section to the average date night.
On average, a first run movie ticket will run you Ten Bucks. Were Cranky able to set his own price to We're the Millers, he would have paid . . .
Somewhere there are critically minded persons in the internet universe screaming obscenities and sharpening knives with which to slice new ones into a screenplay which required four writers to complete. One filled with old jokes, set ups and generally overused old conventions. Push comes to shove, we paid just enough to see We're the Millers without overstaying our welcome. [Which, of course, is zero dollars but we had a real good time]
Find a crowded theater. Take a date.
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