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Wayback Wednesday: We’re the Millers (2013)

I low-key RAGRET watching this.

Okay, hi, hello, it’s been a while, I know! I’ve taken a few weeks off from posting reviews not out of laziness or negligence, but simply because there have been some interesting developments in my life lately that have demanded a majority of my time. This is not a blog about my personal life though so don’t worry, I’m not going to burden you with any of that. But this week I’m back and I’ve brought along a flash in the pan comedy from the 2010s with me! When it was released, We’re the Millers (2013) was being heralded as the funniest movie since The Hangover (2009). From recent viewings I can confirm that The Hangover in no way holds up and I’m sorry to say that neither does We’re the Millers. Wow, remember how obsessed everyone was with The Hangover? And then they ruined it by going ahead and making two unnecessary sequels? Yikes…Choices.

Credit: / Warner Bros. Pictures

We’re the Millers follows David Clark, a small-time drug dealer who owes his boss over $40,000. His boss, Brad Gurdlinger, promises to dissolve his debt if David agrees to smuggle an enormous amount of marijuana out of Mexico. To avoid suspicion from authorities, David recruits Kenny, his neighbour, Rose, a stripper and Casey, a runaway, to pose as his family on an RV road trip.

I forgot just how stacked this movie is with actors that I really love! Jennifer Aniston, Jason Sudeikis, Emma Roberts, Nick Offerman AND Kathryn Hahn! This cast is a talented one that always manages to entertain and delight so it’s a bit of a bummer that the movie as a whole is not as great as they are. Given who’s in it, that should be enough to make me want to rewatch this movie over and over again. But I don’t think I’ve ever had the interest to rewatch We’re the Millers since the first time I saw it nearly a decade ago. Admittedly, this is a solid premise for a movie that should be filled with hilarity but We’re the Millers simply does not deliver.

The biggest problem is that all the jokes, humour and references are so damn dated. I mean, the movie literally starts with that YouTube video of the double rainbow. Wow. I think We’re the Millers is one of those movies that was a big splash culturally when it came out because it was very much of the time, but time overall has not been this movie’s friend. The movie is so filled with these dated references and jokes that it’s really not making me laugh at all. If anything, it’s just making me go, “oh yeah, remember when this was a thing? Remember when we all thought that was the funniest thing ever?” When you consider that it took four men to write this movie, one that is razor-thin on plot and seemingly 85 per cent improvisation, you’ll really begin to question the quality of humour in We’re the Millers.

An hour and 45 minutes may seem like an adequate runtime, but it’s far too long for a movie like We’re the Millers. There just isn’t enough substance to validate such a runtime! At the movie’s 40 minute mark David and company have already successfully crossed the border with the drugs. Everything else that happens to them is superfluous. Any hijinks and trouble they get into, in my opinion, should have happened already. Both emotionally and in terms of the actual plot, everything about We’re the Millers is pretty anti-climactic. The end of this movie is not worth all the meandering and wheel-spinning it goes through. I was honestly surprised multiple times to look at the time and say to myself, “this movie is still happening. There’s still 40 minutes left. Of WHAT?”

I think Sudeikis sometimes suffers from the Ryan Reynolds syndrome of talking and quipping too much and throwing out improv-y jokes that aren’t nearly as funny as he thinks they are. And the level of times his lines are not so much jokes as just dated cultural references? Far too much. OOF, but if you really want to talk about annoying, just try watching Ed Helms during any given part of this movie. I love Aniston but in all honesty, she hasn’t been in a good movie since Marley & Me (2008). Of course, We’re the Millers was also released in her era of the early 2010s when Aniston was making a steady stream of mediocre comedies. While Will Poulter’s adorably innocent portrayal of Kenny is one of the stronger parts of this movie, it is undoubtedly Hahn who is by far the funniest and best part of We’re the Millers. IS ANYONE SURPRISED? 48 minutes into the movie and the introduction of Hahn is the first time I laughed out loud. Her over the top, wildly enjoyable performance as the dorkiest Midwestern mom in existence is truly the only redeeming quality of this otherwise stale movie. 

Truth be told, I did not have much faith in We’re the Millers going into this review. I didn’t have fond memories of this movie the first time I saw it and that’s only been reenforced through a second viewing. I suppose it’s a harmless enough watch that will get a chuckle out of a casual viewer, but there are just too many great movies from this cast for me to recommend this one. I mean, it’s all about smuggling weed so maybe get high and you’ll find We’re the Millers more enjoyable than I did.

Have you seen We’re the Millers?

Let me know in the comments or on social media!

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