We're The Millers - Cinema Review

'It’s Jennifer Aniston who leads the way here however, with a comedy turn brimming with the confidence and skill of a seasoned performer.'

Your take on We’re The Millers will depend on whether you’re a glass half-full or half-empty kind of person. Accentuate the positive and it’s a formulaic Hollywood comedy lifted from the throes of averageness by the strong comedic performances contained within it; a more pessimistic view would see it as a film which squanders its talented cast through a contrived and largely uninventive plot.

Either way, We’re The Millers’ strongest asset by far is its central performers. The main four barely put a foot wrong and the chemistry between the actors flows in a way that means you just can’t help but warm to them as a unit. Whilst Emma Roberts and Will Poulter occasionally feel as though they’ve been thrown the scraps when it comes to the jokes, both hold their own and provide plenty of memorable moments of humour. Jason Sudeikis, who grated on me intensely for the majority of Horrible Bosses, feels well cast in a role he is clearly at ease in and entertains throughout. It’s Jennifer Aniston who leads the way here however, with a comedy turn brimming with the confidence and skill of a seasoned performer. Aniston desperately needs to take more distinctly comedic roles such as this, not only to showcase her talents more and more, but also to help wipe her mediocre nineties rom-com back catalogue from as many audience members' memories as possible.

In terms of laughs, the script delivers. This is never sophisticated comedy, nor does it feel as though We’re The Millers has a particular target - something many modern Hollywood comedies weigh themselves down with much more than necessary - but the jokes and references feel fresh and arrive thick and fast. There’s the occasional misfire, but the vast majority of the time the humour hits its mark, to the point that you either won’t remember or won’t care about the handful of times it doesn’t.

We’re The Millers’ plot is where things begin to unravel. The opening act feels rushed, as though the writers wanted to get the four main characters together as quickly and with as little set-up as possible. Once the key element of the “Miller” family smuggling drugs has been established, the majority of the film is then given over to a series of interconnected scenarios rather than development. It’s a forgivable flaw due to the amount of fun this allows the film to have with not only the central four but also with the strong supporting cast, including Ed Helms clearly having a ball as a ridiculously over-the-top drug baron, and Nick Offerman and Kathryn Hahn as the kooky but endearing Fitzgeralds. A subplot involving the “Millers” being pursued by a Mexican drug dealer (Tomer Sisley) feels tacked on however and largely falls flat, and director Rawson Marshall Thurber can't resist a brief late foray into unnecessary schmaltz, but thankfully this never diminishes the entertainment.

These faults, and the fact that the film is a little too long, mean that We’re The Millers is good, often very good, but never truly great. But it’s also a film which deserves to be recognised as being consistently very funny and containing some genuinely strong comedy performances. Even though I can recognise that it’s not a classic film, We’re The Millers is still one of the best times I’ve had at the cinema this year.

By Ben Broadribb. Ben is a regular contributor to Film Intel, having previously written at Some Like It Hot Fuzz. He is normally seen in the wild wearing t-shirts containing obscure film references. He is a geek, often unashamedly so. He's also on and Twitter.

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