Role Models – Movie Review

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Misfits and misanthropes are the heroes of Role Models, a surprisingly clever comedy.

A pair of overgrown adolescents (Seann William Scott and Paul Rudd) indulge in bad behavior and are assigned to mentor troubled kids in a Big Brother-type program. It sounds predictable.

But it is consistently funny, largely because of the sharp dialogue — written by Rudd and director David Wain — and a well-chosen ensemble cast.

Danny (Rudd) is a smart guy who doesn’t suffer fools and works with Wheeler (Scott) as the spokesman for an energy drink company. A chain of events after a party to celebrate Danny’s 10 years with the company nearly lands him and Wheeler in jail.

Instead, they are sentenced to 150 hours of community service in a program run by Gayle (a hilarious Jane Lynch), who assigns Danny to mentor Augie Farks, an awkward adolescent fascinated by fantasy. Augie is played by the scene-stealing Christopher Mintz-Plasse, who nearly stole Superbad as dweeby McLovin’. Over time, Danny develops an affection and respect for the boy, in contrast to Augie’s parents, who mock his interest in a Dungeons and Dragons-type competition. Mintz-Plasse takes what could have been a stock nerd and imbues Augie with intelligence and sweetness.

Wheeler is assigned to mentor one of the toughest nuts to crack, Ronnie (Bobb’e J. Thompson). His youthful charge is not impressed with Wheeler until the older guy offers guidance on how to be a successful Lothario.

Though Wheeler’s tips sometimes fall flat, other gags offer plenty of laughs. Even familiar climactic scenes don’t detract from the anarchic spirit. And though it’s rated R, scatological humor is kept to a minimum.

Role Models is a rare mainstream buddy comedy that deftly blends the endearing and the vulgar and intersperses raucous humor with subtle wit. Source


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