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We're the Millers

8/10

Stars: Jennifer Aniston, Jason Sudeikis, Emma Roberts, Nick Offerman, Kathryn Hahn, Will Poulter, Ed Helms, Molly Quinn, Tomer Sisley, Matthew Willig, Luis Guzmán

Director: Rawson Marshall Thurber

What do you get when you combine a small-time drug dealer with a stripper, a teenage runaway and a virginal 18-year-old nerd?

The answer is, on the surface, a typical media-style All-American family on a road trip from Denver to Mexico in a giant RV.

The reality – “We’re not the Brady Bunch” - states newly-created paterfamilias Jason Sudeikis – is that the ‘all-American family’ is newly minted, created by Sudeikis as a cover for having accepted $100,000 from druglord Ed Helms (who has a killer whale in his private aquarium) to travel across the border, pick up a huge consignment of heroin and bring it back to Denver.

And then, naturally, everything goes pear-shaped…

This resolutely foul-mouthed and filthy comedy that frequently makes Judd Apatow resemble a Sunday school teacher doesn’t pretend to be anything than a catalyst for low, lewd laughter and on that welcome level it succeeds splendidly. There’s nothing for auteurists in Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story save Rawson Marshall Thurber’s to-the-point direction. And We’re the Millers is simply a surprisingly enjoyable low comedy.

Sudeikis’ made-to-order family features Jennifer Aniston (more usually a cover girl on the US supermarket gossip magazine National Enquirer) as Sudeikis’ ‘wife’ and ‘mother’ to their ‘children’ – teenage runaway Emma Roberts and geeky ‘son’ Will Poulter, making a splendidly funny transition from starring in Son of Rambow and the unfortunate recipient of a bite from a tarantula to his genitals during the rocky ride from Denver and back.

Roberts is suitably sassy and potty-mouthed and almost holds her own against her family.

Almost, but not quite.

Aniston is a revelation, sexy and sinuous as a pole dancer at the start, increasingly credible as mother and wife as the farce progresses. Sudeikis, credibly and comically making the transition from drug dealer “whose apartment smells of cheese and feet” to white bread husband and father is excellent and a good, cheerfully bad taste time is had by all.

Alan Frank

USA 2013. UK Distributor: Warner. Colour by FotoKem.
110 minutes. Widescreen. UK certificate: 15.

Guidance ratings (out of 3): Sex/nudity 2, Violence/Horror 0, Drugs 2, Swearing 3.

Review date: 20 Aug 2013