Review: Role Models
PLOT: Danny hates his job. He loves his girlfriend but has very little talent at showing it. When she decides it is time to break-up, he doesnt take the news all that well. As he complains to his co-worker about his latest tragedy, the two start downing the very energy drink that they are trying to sell to schools. But too much caffeine and a company truck end up getting them in trouble with the law. In order to avoid jail, they find themselves big brothers for a couple of young boys. Neither the men nor the boys are very happy about the situation. But as the four learn to bond, they also learn that you can kick a little extra ass when youve got friends to back you up. And yes, it is all funny.
Okay, I gotta admit that ROLE MODELS didnt look like it was the comedy event of the season. It looked as if it was one of those wannabe crude flicks that is really a family flick at heart. Its got the troubled kids and the troubled adults who will decidedly bond by the final frame. But guess what? It is hilarious and yes, it is crude. Sure there are a few moments where the parent gets angry at the adult for leading her child astray, but director David Wain makes it work. As co-writer (along with Paul Rudd) and director, he is able to deliver the laughs and give each of his actors plenty of time to have a blast. Luckily, because they are having a blast, so are we.
This odd couple comedy starring Rudd and Seann William Scott is much more fun than Id ever imagine it wouldve been. Pauls uptight Danny Donahue is an absolutely annoying guy. He questions a barista at a coffee shop about the validity of ordering a venti coffee. He has trouble not complaining to his girlfriend Beth (Elizabeth Banks). And once she says that they need time away from each other, he begins to fall apart. It doesnt help that he hates his job. He works as a sales rep for an energy drink. His partner Wheeler is the complete opposite of him. Seann William Scott finally gets a role that is still a little bit Stifler, but he is a little more grown up now. I loved both of these guys as I found them to be a perfect balance of cynic and immaturity. They are the glue that helps the dialogue remain funny throughout.
While Danny begins to lose it, the two start downing the energy drinks and find themselves in more trouble than they expected. So with the help of Beth (Dannys girlfriend also happens to be lawyer) they are offered a choice of jail or community service. They choose the later. With which they find they are required to offer 150 hours to a big brother type of organization called Study Wings, run by an ex-drug addict played by Jane Lynch. And here is where the funny gets even funnier. Jane is perfect in this role and she steals every scene she is in. Her work is always good and her Gayle Sweeny in Role Models is fantastic. Whether she is talking about her years of doing cocaine, or trying to find out if the young boys are being taken advantage of, she is hilarious.
And speaking of the boys, it seems that McLovin has grown a bit here. Well, grown into a Dungeons and Dragons nerd, but at least he is showing range. Christopher Mintz-Plasse is very funny as is his younger and much more delinquent juvenile counter-part played by Bobbe J. Thompson. I liked that all four of these actors work so incredibly well together. They are able to avoid the trap of making what is mostly an adult comedy too cute. And this truly earns its R rating, there is ample boobie-watchage and enough sex, drugs and rock and roll to pass around. I was surprised that David Wain kept the dirty humor but still managed to make it meaningful and not overly hokey.
I will say that I did find that the story is fairly predictable. You know what is going to happen for the most part, because it is about the bond between these two guys and the two young men. There is nothing terribly surprising here. But the script manages to keep you laughing and it even makes you care for each of these guys. Although Elizabeth Banks is sort of wasted here. She is such a charming actress and she is given the generic girlfriend role. She aint bad at all, but the part doesnt ask for much. Still, I was pleasantly surprised with ROLE MODELS. In fact, I really enjoyed it and definitely recommend it. And youve got Jane Lynch in another outstanding performance. What more could you want? Well, other than boobies of course. My rating 8/10 -- JimmyO
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