“ROLE MODELS” (Paul Rudd, Seann William Scott & Elizabeth Banks)
Here’s the premise, tell me if this ‘sounds’ like something you’d want to see;
Danny (Rudd) is bored with his life & especially His job – He drives from school to school selling an energy drink under the guise of an ‘Anti-Drug’ program. His partner, Wheeler (Scott) dresses up in a Minotaur costume & shouts out encouraging phrases as Danny does his sales pitch, er, I mean, anti-drug abuse speech.
On his birthday, his co-workers throw him a party, inviting his longtime girlfriend Beth (Banks) to attend as well. A karaoke machine is available & Beth winds up singing by herself because ‘Downbeat Danny’ would rather sit & mope about his boring life than have a good time witrh her.
The next day Danny gets wired on the energy drink & explodes at the kids by using filthy language – he then discovers the company Minotaur 4WD is about to be towed so he jumps into the truck & crashes it into the statue of a horse outside the school.
Danny continues to dwell in his misery & decides the way out is to ask Beth to marry him & he tells her just that – Let’s get married because I’m bored with my life & need a change. Beth breaks up with him. Now, even more depressed than ever, Danny broods constantly.
Danny & Wheeler are given the choice to either do 3 months in jail or log in a ton of community service hours being the ‘big’ brothers to needy children. The boys they are connected with are a foul-mouthed black kid & a geeky nerd that wears a cape & pretends he’s living in medieval times. Oh, & I’ll throw this little plot twist in as well, Wheeler bonds with Ronnie, the black kid, by playing old Kiss songs for him & pointing out that Paul Stanley’s ‘Love Gun’ is actually referring to his... member.
Like it so far? Sounds like a total piece of garbage, doesn’t it? Here’s the surprise – I liked this movie. Don’t ask me how, but they make it work.
Jane Lynch (The store manager in ’40 Year Old Virgin’) has many humorous scenes as the leader of the local ‘Big Brothers’ organization; constantly referring to her days as a cocaine addict & the disgusting things she used to do to get high.
Christopher Mintz-Plasse (Why didn’t someone tell this kid to change his name?) is Augie, the kid that thinks he’s a ‘knight in days of yore’ & Bobbe J. Thompson is Ronnie. In the beginning, Danny makes it obvious to Augie that he’s just ‘pretending’ to be his friend until he logs in enough hours to fulfill his community service – so there’s no hope for any future bonding moments with them; Wheeler & Ronnie are a different story, Ronnie actually comes to admire Wheeler because he teaches him how to ogle women’s breasts without being detected. Wheeler is an actual horndog & takes Ronnie along to an adult party, leaving the boy to play video games while he scores with one of the horny chicks in attendance. A mistake is made when Ronnie gets upset that Wheeler would abandon him – they made it plain that the kid admired Wheeler for his sexual promiscuity – So why would he get upset because the jerk left him while he... fulfilled his wanton urges?
Kerri Kenney-Silver plays Augie’s mother, Mrs. Farks & I knew I’d seen her somewhere before, but couldn’t place her – At first I thought it was Beth Littleford from the Daily Show, but soon discovered that was incorrect. Come to find out she plays the dumb female cop on 'Reno 911', except in ‘Role Models’ she’s blonde & isn’t bad looking at all.
Anyway, it’s Rudd & his character that have to redeem themselves & save this film from being another movie about a jerk that doesn’t deserve all the good things (& beautiful women) that fall his way (See ‘My Best Friend’s Girl, below) & he pulls it off. From the moment he has dinner with Augie’s parents until the Kiss tribute finale at the Medieval Times’ battle of the century, Danny becomes likable & sincerely repentant of his past behavior. & yes, it sounds like the plot to a film for teenagers, but it isn’t – It’s rated R for a reason – Jane Lynch’s line about how she’ll be able to get the judge to not throw them in jail after they missed a court appearance made me laugh loudly, but the best line belongs to Mints-Plasse (‘McLovin’ from “Superbad”) as he rambles & rants about his life while attempting to give his Kiss ‘army’ a pre-battle pep talk. I’ll just say that if you don’t know who Marvin Hamlisch is or what he looks like – look him up before you see this film, otherwise the best line will go over your head.
It drags a little just prior to the finale, but this is a surprisingly funny movie that I recommend highly if your just looking for some nice friendly R-Rated comedy – with a sentimental man/boy bonding tale thrown in for all you pedophiles out there to enjoy...