Goofy Road Trip Movies: We’re the Millers Review
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.
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.
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.
Completing the stellar cast are Luix Guzmán (Mexican cop), Ken Marino (Todd), Thomas Lennon (Rick), Mark L. Young (Scottie P), and Laura-Leigh (Kymberly).
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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 MooreManaging Editor
Timothy Moore hails from Dayton, Ohio, and tries to bring that Midwestern flavor to his writing. (But as it turns out, no one really likes the Midwestern flavor.) He has been covering the auto industry for years, with several national auto shows under his belt, but he’s been writing about lots of other things (like dragons and Mickey Mouse and cows drowning in milk) since he was just a tot. Outside of the land of cars, Timothy enjoys watching The Office and consuming excessive amounts of peanut butter and beer, and is on the board of an up-and-coming Dayton theatre company called The Playground. And when he’s not on stage (or three jars into a peanut butter binge), Timothy spends time with his mischievous dog, Greyson. See more articles by Timothy.