By Megan Reece
Director: David Wain
Producers: Luke Greenfield, Dan Kolsrud, Mary Parent, Matthew Seigel, William Sherak, Jason Shuman, Scott Stuber
Writer: Paul Rudd, David Wain, Ken Marino, Timothy Dowling, W. Blake Herron
Starring: Seann William Scott, Paul Rudd, Christopher Mintz-Plasse, Bobb’e Thompson, Elizabeth Banks, Jane Lynch
Rated: R for some nudity, crude language and situations
3 and a half out of 5 stars
“Role Models” follows the somewhat formulaic plot that never actually seems to happen in real life, but manages to put in enough unique twists to make it very enjoyable. Two men, Wheeler and Danny, get into some trouble and have to put in 150 hours of community service with a mentoring organization. We have seen this plotline in many adult/kid movies, but not in very many that were rated R, so as an adult, you will have a good time with this film. There is plenty of crude language and a few partial nudity scenes, but the film is never graphic.
The actors playing the children in the movie (one of them, Mintz-Plasse, not so young himself) add depth and body to the plot within a genre that can’t always make children fit. Thompson is a newcomer who does a fantastic job as a 10-year old being raised by a single mother. His interests lay in the mysteries of women, and his mentor (Scott) aims to help him better understand the opposite sex.
Mintz-Plasse’s character is less interested in women than in his fantasy sword-fighting club and the chance it offers to temporarily escape his everyday life. He manages to pull Rudd into the action, and the “Battle Royale” scene alone makes the movie worth seeing.
The general plot, while formulaic, is not necessarily predictable. There is of course the typical “walls closing in on the main character” scene, but it does not come when – or for the reasons – you expect. It is great to see how Rudd’s character works out his problems, and to see how the other characters grow and get to like each other.
The cast members play off each other very well. Lynch does a great job as a slightly nutty non-profit director who used to be addicted to cocaine. There is one scene that takes place in her office, along with Rudd and Scott, that contains some flawlessly funny dialogue. As for hilarious real-world situations, anyone who has ever had to take Ambien or Lunesta to get to sleep will appreciate the camping scene.
This film is truly funny without taking itself too seriously. Rudd delivers many of his lines in a Seinfeld-esque style, with a smile hiding just under the surface. There are even some scenes during which you might start ruminating on how many takes they must have required, mainly because you cannot imagine anyone performing them without laughing.
So, leave your inhibitions (and your kids) at home and go out to enjoy the funny, lighthearted and clever “Role Models.” It is definitely worth the price of admission.