Role Models (2008)
Role Models (2008)

Genre: Comedy Running Time: 1 hr. 39 min.

Release Date: November 7th, 2008 MPAA Rating: R

Director: David Wain Actors: Seann William Scott, Paul Rudd, Christopher Mintz-Plasse, Bobb’e J. Thompson, Elizabeth Banks, Jane Lynch, Ken Jeong, Kerri Kenney-Silver, Joe Lo Truglio, Nicole Randall Johnson

 


 

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hat works most appreciably well for “Role Models” is the punchline that trails every dramatic sequence – a trick John Hughes regularly employed for his classic ’80s comedies. Just when a heartrending moment draws the audience in, a jolting blast of vulgarity induces inescapable laughter. It may be immaturity that wins over the crowds that watch Seann William Scott and Paul Rudd act out their funny-man/straight-man routines, but truly intellectual humor is scarce in contemporary comedy. Instead, “Role Models” uses its hilarious character actor cast (including a scene-stealing Jane Lynch) to its fullest extent, keeping the unremitting, coarse riffs constant.

Danny (Paul Rudd) is an energy drink spokesman, selling liquid poison to kids for a living and hating every second of it. His infectious depression finds him constantly at odds with his girlfriend (Elizabeth Banks) and his coworker Wheeler (Sean William Scott), a reckless, sex-crazed pervert (and the stay-off-drugs Minotaur Man mascot). Both are definitely not role models. But when Danny’s maniacal antics find them facing jail time or 150 hours of community service, the duo is forced to enroll in the Sturdy Wings program and mentor two misfit kids, Augie (Christopher Mintz-Plasse) and Ronnie (Bobb’e J. Thompson). What starts as a reluctant pairing soon develops into real friendship as all four outcasts learn a little about life, love, and coarse language.

As the two counseled kids attempt various extremes to escape unfriendly realities, it’s the adults who realize they’re doing the exact same thing. Both Danny and Wheeler find themselves becoming better people as they coach their newfound friends into gaining self-esteem and finding civil ways to vent. It’s a traditional formula, but well done and approached with a generous helping of boorish humor.

As Wheeler hilariously coaxes Danny to appreciate some “insane sympathy rebound pussy” after his breakup with lawyer gal Beth, the predilection for dirty dialogue is clearly demonstrated. But, more than the scripting, its the supporting characters and kookiness of every eccentric activity that really make “Role Models” stand out amongst the pack of R-rated rebellious comedies. BS-proof instructor Gayle (Jane Lynch), the foul-mouthed little Ronnie, the out-of-this-world LAIRE events (a live-action dungeons-and-dragons roleplaying tournament), trips to Chipmunk Charlie’s, lessons in booby-watching, and oodles of sexual innuendo consistently add to the hysterics. Though the film starts strong before losing a little steam midway as it relates its offbeat tale of making friends and fixing relationships, the morals also decrease in impact as the revelations continue to get surrounded by sillier and more farfetched ideas. However, both Paul Rudd and Seann William Scott effortlessly deliver plenty of crude laughs – and, for some reason, hearing young kids curse profanely never seems to get old.

– The Massie Twins

  • 7/10