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Goofy Road Trip Movies: We’re the Millers Review

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Best Road Trip Movies: We’re the Millers Review

Best Road Trip Movies: We’re the Millers Review
Warner Bros/YouTube

For the last three years, I’ve had a friend who worked at a local drive-in, meaning that my buddies and I got to go see movies for free for three summers in a row. My summers of free movies have tragically come to a halt, however, as the friend moved to Florida just last week. I saw my share of action-packed superhero movies (such as Iron Man 3), outrageous comedies (such as The Campaign), adaptations of novels (such as Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter) and god-awful excuses for cinematic endeavors (such as That’s My Boy). We really had no discretion since everything was free, though I was not warned of the severe headache that That’s My Boy would cause for the next two days, or else I would have skipped that one.

Aside from Guardians of the Galaxy, We’re the Millers was probably the best movie I saw in my three years of free drive-in experiences. Many might think it’s a forgettable comedy and thus doesn’t merit a spot on a list that should otherwise be reserved for films like Paper Moon, Little Miss Sunshine, and Thelma & Louise, but there’s something about We’re the Millers that just sticks with me. So when it came time to pick films for our best road trip movies series, I insisted that I should be able to write a We’re the Millers review. And here we are.

The Cast

One of the reasons that We’re the Millers is so great is because of its all-star cast. Jason Sudeikis plays veteran drug dealer, David Clark. Opposite Sudeikis is Jennifer Aniston, playing down-on-her-luck stripper, Rose O’Reilly. Emma Roberts plays misunderstood runaway, Casey Mathis, while Will Poulter gives a hilarious performance as dorky virgin, Kenny Rossmore.

Best Road Trip Movies: We’re the Millers Review

Jason Sudeikis as David Clark and Jennifer Aniston as Rose O’Reilly
Warner Bros/YouTube

As a major fan of NBC’s Thursday night comedies, I was thrilled to see Ed Helms take on the role of douche bag drug lord, Brad Gurdlinger, as well as Nick Offerman as soft DEA-agent, Don Fitzgerald, and Kathryn Hahn as his PG, sexually frustrated wife, Edith. Molly Quinn plays the daughter of the Fitzgeralds, Melissa; Tomer Sisley takes on Mexican drug lord, Pablo Chacon; and Matthew Willig plays the same giant role as always, this time named One-Eye.

Best Road Trip Movies: We’re the Millers Review

Ed Helms as Brad Gurdlinger
Warner Bros/YouTube

Completing the stellar cast are Luix Guzmán (Mexican cop), Ken Marino (Todd), Thomas Lennon (Rick), Mark L. Young (Scottie P), and Laura-Leigh (Kymberly).

Best Road Trip Movies: We’re the Millers Review

Scottie P gots no ragrets
Warner Bros/YouTube

The Plot

*Contains spoilers*

When David has his product (aka weed) stolen from him, along with all his money owed to his boss, Brad, he is forced (by Brad) to cross the border into Mexico and pick up a “small” shipment of weed, saying that it is for Pablo Chacon. Terrified of having to smuggle drugs across the border into America, David devises a scheme to get across safely. His idea? Hiring his neighbor, Rose, to play his wife; the homeless girl outside his apartment, Casey, to play his daughter; and the boy in the apartment whose mother disappears for days at a time, Kenny, to play his son. Together, the four fly to Mexico, where they pick up an RV in which to stash the pot. It is David’s hope that border patrol wouldn’t question a happy family (called the Millers) returning from a trip down south.

Best Road Trip Movies: We’re the Millers Review

The “family’s” RV
Warner Bros/YouTube

The “small” amount of weed, however, turns out to be much bigger than expected. They stash the pot into every nook and cranny of the RV, but as they are preparing to cross the border, a block of marijuana falls from an overhead storage compartment into Rose’s lap, meaning she must quickly swaddle it in a blanket and pretend it’s a baby before the kooky family in the RV next to them, the Fitzgeralds, notice what it is.

Best Road Trip Movies: We’re the Millers Review

“Just loading up a family RV with marijuana, nothing to see here.”
Warner Bros/YouTube

Although it is a close call, the “Millers” make it across the border with the pot. Little do they know, however, that Brad just had them steal that pot from the real Pablo Chacon, and that Chacon is hot on their tales with One-Eye, in a pee-colored (gold?) Porsche 911 Carrera Cabrio to take them down.

Best Road Trip Movies: We’re the Millers Review

Kenny surprises the others by rapping TLC’s “Waterfalls.”
Warner Bros/YouTube

Inevitably, the Millers have engine trouble, and the Fitzgeralds find them and offer to help, meaning that the Millers must pretend to still have a baby, whom Edith desperately wants to hold. They end up spending the night camping together, but the Millers discover that Don Fitzgerald is a DEA agent and quickly plot their escape. In the morning, once their RV is fixed, Chacon catches up with them. They narrowly escape, but in the process, Kenny’s “downstairs” is bitten by a giant spider, landing him in the hospital.

Best Road Trip Movies: We’re the Millers Review

During the overnight camping trip, the Fitzgeralds think that the Millers want a four-way.
Warner Bros/YouTube

While he is being treated, Casey meets up with a sketchy guy named Scottie P, for the first time making David and Rose act like her actual parents. After a typical parent-child fight, David and Rose begin to get closer, as if they are really married. But when David suggests they leave before Kenny is released the hospital and come back for him later (as he is trying to make a deadline for a whole lot of cash from Brad), Rose and Casey refuse. David selfishly leaves them behind, but before he makes it all the way home, he realizes that he has come to love his pseudo family dearly (we all saw that coming) and turns back to get them all and split the money he is going to make among them evenly.

It is at that moment, however, that the Fitzgeralds find them again and it is revealed (by Kenny) that they are drug smugglers. Before Don can react, however, Chacon steps in to kill them. David saves the day, however, by taking Chacon down, and Don handcuffs Chacon. Then, in a stunning move, Don says he is going to turn away and hug his family before arresting the Millers. In reality, he is giving the Millers a chance to escape so he doesn’t have to arrest them.

In the end, David drops off the stolen weed to Brad, but he is secretly setting Brad up for a drug bust that leads to Brad’s arrest, courtesy of Don. For helping with the mission, Don says that David and anyone else involved in the incident must go into witness protection. David smiles, as this means he gets to live like a real family for several months with Rose, Casey, and Kenny.

The Car

The RV is the most important vehicle in the film. It is in the RV that the “family” becomes a family, where Kenny raps TLC’s “Waterfalls” and where Casey and Rose teach Kenny how to kiss and, of course, where David stashes a crap ton of marijuana.

Best Road Trip Movies: We’re the Millers Review

The Millers’ RV
Warner Bros/YouTube

Another highlight of the film that gearheads will be more prone to appreciate is Chacon’s pee-colored 911 Carrera, which is unfortunately demolished by the RV at some point in the film.

Best Road Trip Movies: We’re the Millers Review

The Porsche 911 Carrera Cabrio
Warner Bros/YouTube

We’re the Millers Review

We’re the Millers is one of the funniest movies that has come out in recent years. I laughed so hard I cried a couple times while watching it. Offerman and Hahn are brilliant in their roles and are typically the greatest source of laughter.

Best Road Trip Movies: We’re the Millers Review

The Fitzgeralds are reason enough to see this film.
Warner Bros/YouTube

But I also liked the movie because it was an unconventional road trip flick, in that the family wasn’t really a family. Not until the end, when they became one by choice. The film really drives home the expression, “You don’t have to be blood to be family,” something that has always spoken to me. The relationships they form with one another are touching, although predictable.

I absolutely recommend checking out this film, if you haven’t yet. And if you have, give it another watch. I’ve seen it a handful of times, and it still cracks me up.

  • Timothy MooreContributing Writer

    Timothy Moore takes his leadership inspiration from Michael Scott, his writing inspiration from Mark Twain, and his dancing inspiration from every drunk white guy at a wedding. When Tim is not writing about cars, he’s working on his novel or reading someone else’s, geeking out over strategy board games, hiking with his pooch, or channeling his inner Linda Belcher over beers with his friends. See more articles by Timothy.