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9/10 For every twenty filthy disgusting R-rated comedy gems, there's one that stands out because of its heavy dosage of heart. Role Models isn't the sort of movie you'd expect to be the exception, but nonetheless delivers quality film-making, quality writing and acting, and plenty of life-lessons as well as raunchy humor to keep you laughing throughout. Paul Rudd's first script is full of his dry, sarcastic, witty brand of humor; and then we have the hilarious Seann William Scott in the sidekick role. Underneath the layers of profanity, sex jokes, cleavage lies life values and a hidden layer of sentimentality that seeps its way through the second and third acts. The transition is very slow and gradually actually improves the film as it rolls on.5 years ago
Role Models follows two slackers, a bitter one (Rudd) and a rowdy, horny freebird (William Scott) being forced to community service after a mishap outside a school. For their community service, they have to enroll in a big brother-like program and take care of a kid for 150 hours. The task becomes hard because one of them is a major fan of the fantasy, medieval role-playing lifestyle, and the other is a foul-mouthed, misbehaving youngling with no respect towards adults or people in general. As they spend more time together however, they realize they have a lot more in common than previously assumed; and suddenly start changing each other's habits for the better.
The screenplay is helmed by four minds, with Paul Rudd providing his personal touch for the first time in his career. The payoff is magnificent, as the plot never dwells into formulaic, and most of the humor hits rather than misses. Unlike most modern rated-R comedies, some of the jokes are very low and come quickly, therefore passing by the viewer without getting a reaction. It takes some quick wit to nab the swiftly-delivered one-liners. Paul Rudd is perfectly cast as the lead character Danny, and performs with an overwhelming aura of selfishness, sarcasm, and subtle hostility. Seann William Scott is at his best when being second banana (See: American Pie, The Rundown) and is also perfectly cast as the wild, immature co-worker of Danny. Last but not least we must applaud Christopher Mintz-Plasse as he delivers another grand geeky performance that mixes humor with heart.
What separates incredible rated-R comedies like The 40-Year-Old Virgin and There's Something About Mary from stinkers like Scary Movie 2, Superbad, and My Best Friend's Girl is how much raunchy material is presented and its timing. In the first two films mentioned, there's squeamish and adult humor sprinkled throughout, but it's never overdone or overkilled. Role Models has a lot of profanity, a bit of sex, and a bit of crudeness attached; but these elements are never one-hundred percent focused on. Director David Wain knows how to keep the film from being unbearably crude and unwatchable by proving other ways to deliver laughs: whether it is with physical humor, snappy comebacks, and hilarious scenarios. The best bits are when Danny and Wheeler are having trouble adjusting to the behaviors of their "little brothers."
But then the movie dwells into deeper territory by providing insight into the reason why the little brothers are such a hassle to handle; and why these kids can potentially help our two main characters. Themes about life, love, family, and understanding the next individual are all too present. Nobody's bizarre and unique mannerisms are ever left unexplained. By the end you've gotten to know the characters so well, you can figure out their next moves. It's a sort of predictability that's actually refreshing. Of course, then we are all thrown off by the climax, which stages one of the funniest moments in 2008 cinema. The epic finale is long, but ludicrous, and wraps up the story very nicely.
Bottom Line: It usually isn't my nature to give a film with dozens of cleavage jokes a high score (especially with my hate affair with Dane Cook), but Role Models is surprisingly cute, surprisingly sweet, and delightfully hilarious and touching. You'll care for everyone by the third act, and will remain entertained until the very end. Unlike the average adult comedy, this one comes with a lot of values and adorable little moments that makes this worth watching more than once. Paul Rudd is a much underrated actor and entertainer, as we see him deliver on his first main comedic role. Here's to hoping we'll see much more of him in the near future. In the meantime, you'll do yourself some good by watching this gem.
"No, venti is twenty. Large is large. In fact, tall is large and grande is Spanish for large. Venti is the only one that doesn't mean large. It's also the only one that's Italian. Congratulations, you're stupid in three languages."
Do what makes you happy. This film actually believes it.
9/10 Role Models - Two energy drink spokesmen, Wheeler and Danny (Seann William Scott and Paul Rudd) get in trouble with the law after Danny has a break-up with his girlfriend (Elizabeth Banks who is in everything these days). They are given the choice of jail or community service with troubled kids, and choose the latter. Danny is given a boy Augie (Christopher Mintz-Plasse of Superbad) who wears a cape and is into role-playing games. Wheeler is given a foul mouthed terror of a boy (Bobb'e J. Thompson).5 years ago
Paul Rudd and Seann William Scott have good chemistry. Rudd has dry sarcasm to spare and Scott plays a sex-addled numbskull. Their interactions with the two talented young boys are funny and occasionally sweet. Bobb'e J. Thompson is one of the better child actors of his age and makes the nightmare of every teacher a cool often wickedly funny little character. Christopher Mintz-Plasse, or "McLovin'" as he's known throughout America, plays essentially the same character but sweeter and shy and, funny enough, less creepy. So yeah, he's pretty firmly typecast as "dork" at this point. But he's a very palatable dork and may help raise the image of dorks everywhere above the status of subhuman. I heard many girls in the audience very sensitive to his plight in the audience.
A few parts of the plot are contrived. But aside from a few film snobs, who goes to see a comedy for its original plot? The important thing is the laughs, and this is where the film delivers. Directed by David Wain, maker of The Ten (funny cult film), and written by Wain and Paul Rudd, this film is hilarious. The laughs were frequent and hearty. One of the films defining elements is the showcasing of role-playing games such as Dungeons&Dragons (here it is known as L.A.I.R.E). Role Models takes a surprisingly even handed look at it. It pokes fun, of course (so easy). But there is also respect ingrained. The result is a case of "so lame it's awesome" where the absurdity of D&D is given the gravitas of your average Hollywood blockbuster. It's hilarious, and does look terribly fun.
And it's here that the film makes it's stand. Do what makes you happy, no matter what your parents or anyone else tells you. It's been said in so many films that the message seems false at this point. But in Role Model's extreme example of people doing what makes them happy, it really does ring true. You got to give a bunch of people playing with foam swords in the forest their due. They're doing what makes them happy. Can you say the same for yourself? I can't right now.
This was a delightful film. It may be a bad year for movies, but it's a damn fine one for comedy. A-
Very funny and touching, too!
8/10 Just saw this tonight at an advance screening. It was very funny, and warm hearted. I suppose the humor is often crude, but, hey. The natural dialog reminded me of Superbad and 40 Year Old Virgin. Paul Rudd has developed a deadpan style of improvisational humor that seems to work better and better the more movies he makes. Christopher Mintz-Plasse from Superbad and Robb'e J. Johnson are excellent as the kids. Jane Lynch brings her signature brand of demented free association to the role of the charity-addicted leader of a kids charity. If you liked Superbad, Pineapple Express and 40 Year Old Virgin, go! If you didn't; Dude, like, don't!5 years ago
So much funnier than I was expecting
8/10 After seeing the trailer for Role Models, I thought it looked like a funny movie, but I wasn't expecting much, I was thinking they might have just shown the great parts in the trailer and that would be it. But I took the opportunity and saw Role Models the other day and I have to say this is completely opposite from what I was expecting, first off I was worried that there was going to be a lot of gross humor and the kids might be more annoying than funny, but it turn out that this was one of the funniest movies I have seen this year. I just couldn't stop laughing throughout this film, who knew that Sean William Scott could actually be really funny? I know there are a lot of Stiffler fans that will hate that sentence, but I don't remember a time that I laughed so hard at his character. He and Paul Rudd both worked so well together and were terrific on screen, this was the last duo on Earth that I expected such great laughs from.5 years ago
Wheeler and Danny both work for an energy drink company, but after a very hard day for Danny he crashes their company truck on school property, but his ex-girlfriend, Beth, who is a lawyer is able to get them just 150 hours community service with two kids, one is a total dungeons and dragons nerd and the other is just a pain in the butt. You know how the story goes, Danny learns how to be happy and Wheeler finally grows up into a more father figure role.
Now the story is something we have seen a million times before, but it's still a great comedy. Jane Lynch who is becoming one of my favorite comedic actresses, you've also seen her in 40 year old virgin, she is just absolutely hilarious in this movie and has all the best lines "You know what I ate for breakfast? Cocaine. You know what I ate for lunch? Cocaine..." she is such a great and fun actress to watch on screen. I really loved Role Models, it turned out to be a great comedy and was an absolute blast to watch. I highly recommend if you get the chance to see it, take it, it's a guaranteed laugh.
10/10 I saw this movie at a free screening last night, and by the time the movie was over, I was hoarse because I laughed so much. And these weren't just little laughs, but big guffaws. The whole audience was laughing through the whole movie. The previews are funny, but this is one instance where they don't show the only funny parts of the movie in the previews. Paul Rudd is a great actor, in general, and he really shines in this movie. The movie is hysterical, raunchy, and touching. Kudos to Rudd, Wain, and Merino. I really hope that this movie gains a lot of ground through the great buzz it is currently getting. It deserves that buzz.5 years ago