Published on November 10th, 2008 | by Erich Becker0
Review: Role Models
In the current landscape of the comedy world where it seems everything is made by a small group of actors and directors its nice to see a film with some new faces, even if one is a adolescent boy with a mouth like a sailor and an old friend we nearly forgot about. This friend would be Seann William Scott, long missing from the comedy world after the American PieRole Models trilogy, the actor can pull off sweet and charming while channeling smarmy and pretentious and does it with ease here in paired up with Apatow-alumni Paul Rudd.
Rudd has long been known in genre films as the go-to-guy for supporting roles focusing on disenfranchised, sarcastic spouses looking to reinvent themselves in a younger generation (see Knocked Up) but he’s never had the opportunity to carry a film, even if he steals every scene he’s in. Role Models is Rudd’s breakthrough leading-man role and, along with Scott, the banter between the two energy drink salesmen sentenced to community service is believable and, most importantly, funny.
After crashing a Minotaur-skinned truck into a statue Danny (Rudd) and Wheeler (Scott) are sentenced to community service as “Bigs” who befriend a couple “Littles” in the form of Ronnie (Bobb’e J. Thompson) and Augie (Christopher Mintz-Plasse). Ronnie constantly belittles and makes Wheeler’s life miserable as he trudges through 150 hours of service, but eventually the two bond as Wheeler passes on tips about how to stair at boobs without getting caught. Danny has a harder time connecting with Augie who constantly involves himself in LAIRE not to be confused with very similar LARP.
The script is by the numbers for the most part, each of the grown men come to realize the error of their ways after exiling themselves from each other and their Littles. Danny has a subplot about attempting to reconnect with his lawyer ex-girlfriend and Wheeler just has a love obsession with KISS which plays into the final act of the story.
The comedic timing of all those involved is excellent, which makes the, otherwise, average plot flow much more cohesively and stay interesting even after you can spot plot revelations a mile away. The jokes are fresh, for the most part, but its all about the delivery and Scott’s everyman, slacker attitude plays well with Rudd’s high-strung, sarcastic view on life.
While many will mistake and attribute the film to Judd Apatow due to his stable of capable actors being utilized here, the film never needs to devolve into gross out humor to get its point across, a rarity these days, but a welcomed change. Role Models won’t change the genre but it certainly doesn’t hurt it either.