Raunchy, but not nauseating, Role Models
is an exceptionally funny slacker comedy co-written by Paul Rudd. Rudd stars as Danny, one-half of a team (along with Seann William Scott's character, Wheeler) that visits schools on behalf of a power-drink company. With his lack of enthusiasm for work and his life painfully evident, Danny loses his live-in girlfriend, Beth (Elizabeth Banks), and soon has a run-in with the law resulting in community service for him and Wheeler. Ordered to appear at a Big Brothers-like organization, Danny is partnered with a lonely if brilliant adolescent boy, Augie (Christopher Mintz-Plasse), while Wheeler is hooked up with a foul-mouthed pre-teen named Ronnie (Bobb'e J. Thompson). Neither of the men has anything in common with their charges, a fact exacerbated when Danny reluctantly attends Augie's participation in a weekend role-playing fantasy game with a medieval flavor. Meanwhile, Wheeler just tries to survive his ongoing power struggle with Ronnie. Both sets of relationships improve when Danny and Wheeler begin to meet their kids halfway and even learn to empathize with them, though the results are sometimes comically bumpy before the characters all hit their groove. There are a number of hilarious scenes (the film definitely deserves its R rating) and more than a few thoughtful ones, including a terrific moment where Danny defends Augie to the latter's critical parents over an awkward dinner. Jane Lynch is very funny as a semi-insane director of the program pairing kids and adults, and Banks (W
.) is very appealing as Danny's unhappy ex-girlfriend. --Tom Keogh
Stills from Role Models (Click for larger image)
Prepare yourself for the most irreverent and funny comedy that brings new meaning to juvenile delinquency! As the world’s least-likely mentors, Danny (Paul Rudd) & Wheeler (Seann William Scott) must put aside their selfish, sarcastic and party-driven ways in order to give two odd, foul-mouthed kids invaluable wisdom about life, love and heavy metal. With a supporting cast of comic all-stars including Elizabeth Banks, Jane Lynch, Christopher Mintz-Plasse and Bobb’e J. Thompson, Role Models is “a surprisingly clever comedy” (Claudia Puig, USA Today).