SEAN WILLIAM SCOTT
NICOLE RANDALL JOHNSON
JOE LO TRUGLIO
WILLIMA BLAKE HERRON
Role Models is a film which fits nicely into the recent crop of comedy releases.
It is crass as hell; witty in its analysis of current social and pop culture trends; and continues to embrace the “bromance” movement, of which male leads form strong heterosexual relationships with one another, currently championed by filmmakers Judd Apatow, Todd Phillips, and Adam McKay.
Not surprisingly, many cast members from their films pop up here. Chief among them is Paul Rudd, who usually shines in supporting roles. In Role Models, however, Rudd shares lead actor duties with Sean William Scott. They star as Danny and Wheeler, two spokesmen for energy drink Minotaur, which is acutely described as “nuclear piss”.
Danny begins the film in a rut, cynically musing that his last 10 years spent at his job have been a waste. The fun loving man whore Wheeler is the opposite, which is not a surprise considering Scott has perfected the art of playing the party animal hornbag. Imagine his Stifler from American Pie. Only older.
After Danny’s long suffering girlfriend Beth (Elizabeth Banks) breaks up with him, Danny – with Wheeler by his side – loses it, inadvertently destroying public property and endangers the life of a police officer. To avoid jail, the pair must complete 150 hours of community service at Sturdy Wings, a big brother style charity, run by the always hilariously in form Jane Lynch as a reformed drug addict.
Both men are designated a younger “sibling” to take care of. Danny is paired with Augie (Superbad’s McLovin, Christopher Mintz-Plasse), a fantasy fanatic who lives and dies by LAIRE, a medieval/fantasy role playing community.
Wheeler is partnered up with foul mouthed 12 yr old Ronnie. He is played by a real find in Bobb’e J. Thompson, who comes across as the bastard child of Chris Rock and Eddie Murphy. After a rocky start, Wheeler and Ronnie hit it off, due to their shared enthusiasm for boobies, and the rock group Kiss, who Wheeler enthusiastically describes as four Jewish guys who put on makeup and make women have sex with them.
The rest of the plot is formulaic, with the kids teaching the men –via a stormy patch – how to act responsibly, etc. In the process the jokes are hit and miss. There are only so many cracks about tits and cock that one guy can take.
Yet the films script – written by Rudd, Timothy Dowling, Ken Marino, and director David Wain – strikes comedy gold on two fronts.
The first, is its spot on criticism towards the trend of abbreviating every little thing (ASAP, BF, 24/7, etc), and the overuse of popular jargon, with Lynch’s poor use of it a hoot.
The second is the seriousness given to the fantasy play battle’s of Mintz-Plasse’s LAIRE, which minor yet hilarious turns by Joe Lo Truglio as an over the top knight ready for battle, and Ken Jeong as a randy king on a power trip.
So despite is faults, there is enough comedic fuel to keep Role Models in league with the likes of 40 Year Old Virgin and Superbad.