We’re The Millers (2013) a (mildly) belated review

I love raunchy comedies that strip peoples’ carefully crafted masks of “goodness” to reveal that deep down inside, all of us share a streak of immorality, incompetence, and idocity.

One of my favorite recent shows to do this was Reno 911!, which took a cue from the far more serious show Cops! and portrayed a bizarro-world police force full of incompetent (pardon my language) assholes that you just knew lurked not only in the halls of justice but probably in every job in every corner of the planet.

With We’re the Millers, I didn’t really get all that excited with the film until I saw red band trailers:

A group of lowlifes forced to pose as a typical “whitebread” American family so they can smuggle drugs from Mexico into the U.S., all while bickering and cussing each other out?

Count me in!

I tried but failed to see the film when it was released in theaters.  I put it on my Netflix list and, soon enough, it showed up.  Would I find the film as amusing as the commercials?

In a word, unfortunately, no.

Mind you, the film isn’t a total bust, though the very best bits are in the commercial.  There are other bits here and there that are amusing but the film unfortunately takes a too predictable turn toward the maudlin and becomes waaay too “nice”.  When it does, it loses the sharp comedic edge that I hoped would continue throughout (one thing about Reno 911! that amused me is that these characters were losers from the get go and there was never –ever– a chance they would be anything but losers in the end).

So, yeah, the film plays out in a sadly typical and too-expected Hollywood-Committee-Writer way.  The “good guys” in the end do the right thing and the “bad guys” get their comeuppance and the dysfunctional Millers grow into something of a real family.

Ho hum.

How strange.  Here I am on Christmas Day bemoaning a film for being about family!

For those interested and as I pointed out before, We’re the Millers isn’t a total bust, just a film that eventually takes a too-safe story path and wimps out on its initial premise.  It is far, far from the worst comedy I’ve ever seen, but it is also one I hoped could have been sharper, more pointed, and, ultimately, better.