Role Models (2008)

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Actor Paul Rudd has come off some great roles in his career as of late with his roles in Anchorman, The 40- Year Old Virgin, and Knocked Up. Here, he proves not only can he pull off comedy in front of the cameras, but with the help of director David Wain and two others, he can pull off co-writing a very funny comedy.

Danny and Wheeler are two spokesmen for an energy drink called Minotaur. While they are promoting the drinks to various schools, they have their issues. Danny is a sourpuss who has somewhat of an attitude problem, something that forces his lawyer girlfriend Beth to leave him. Meanwhile, Wheeler is the typical “player”, always chasing any woman in order to get her in the sack.

One day, both their lives change after a fight with a tow truck driver forces them to make a choice: jail or community service. They choose the community service and they spend time playing big brothers to two kids. Danny gets Augie, a loser who spends his time going to LAIRE, a sort of live action Dungeons and Dragons. Wheeler gets Ronnie, a foul-mouthed eleven year old kid whose mouth is his biggest problem.

While Danny and Wheeler first only care about getting their community service over and done with, they soon begin to grow closer to the two kids, really becoming “big brothers”. However, two incidents may jeopardize their chances of their getting out of jail and forcing them to decide what is best for not only the kids, but themselves as well.

It seems that Paul Rudd could steal the scenes from any movie that he has recently appeared in, but here, he is given one of his first lead roles and well, the way the movie was written, who better than to find his comic screen buddy in Seann William Scott. Scott, who will forever be known as the original “Stifler”, seems somewhat typecast as they may as well have called his character “Steve”. It is virtually the same role as in the American Pie films that he brings here, however, it’s not more or less the usual Stifler than the changed Stifler from American Reunion. Comparing the two main characters, it is Rudd’s Dave who goes through the most change here as he has not one, but two relationships to fix throughout the film.

The kids they are forced to watch are played by Christopher Mintz-Plasse and Bobb’e Thompson. Mintz-Plasse, perhaps known as “McLovin’” in the hilarious Superbad and the villainous Red Mist in the upcoming Kick-Ass, brings his nerdy style to a tee as Augie, a typical geek who has a passion for the medieval and even re-enacts it in what can only be described as a cross between a live action Dungeons and Dragons and Dark Ages of Camelot. Bobb’e Thompson, best known as the troublemaker Stanley on the Disney series That’s So Raven, plays virtually the same role except with more of a mouth that will want his mother to break out the soap.

Some of the supporting characters play off their roles very well. Elizabeth Banks does well as the more “conscious” Beth, while the very popular Jane Lynch just brings it as the owner of the organization Dave and Wheeler must go to for their community service. Since seeing him as the wacky doctor in Knocked Up, Ken Jeong was destined for being funny and he continues here as the LAIRE’s King, Argotron. One look at him and the way he comes off, most likely one will start to laugh. Thankfully, Jeong has made himself one of the best supporting comedian actors of this generation.

Role Models is not just for fans of “Stifler” Seann William Scott, but definitely fans of some of today’s best comedies. It is a heartwarming…oh, who are we kidding? It’s a funny, at times laugh out loud look at the lives of two men who change while being “big brothers”.

WFG RATING: B

Universal Pictures presents a Stuber/Parent production in association with Relativity Media, New Regency Pictures, WideAwake, and Internationale Filmproduktion Stella-del-Süd. Director: David Wain. Producers: Luke Greenfield, Mary Parent, and Scott Stuber. Writers: Paul Rudd, David Wain, Ken Marino, and Timothy Dowling; story by Dowling and William Blake Herron. Cinematography: Russ T. Alsobrook. Editing: Eric Kissack.

Cast: Seann William Scott, Paul Rudd, Christopher Mintz-Plasse, Bobb’e J. Thompson, Elizabeth Banks, Jane Lynch, Ken Jeong, Ken Marino, Kerri Kenney, A.D. Miles, Joe Lo Truglio, Matt Walsh.

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