A high school slacker who's rejected by every school he applies to opts to create his own institution of higher learning, the South Harmon Institute of Technology, on a rundown piece of property near his hometown.
Shy 14-year-old Duncan goes on summer vacation with his mother, her overbearing boyfriend, and her boyfriend's daughter. Having a rough time fitting in, Duncan finds an unexpected friend in Owen, manager of the Water Wizz water park.
Danny and Wheeler, well into their 30s, lack something: Danny feels stuck; he's sour and has driven away his terrific girlfriend. Wheeler chases any skirt he sees for empty sex. When they get in a fight with a tow-truck driver, they choose community service over jail and are assigned to be big brothers - Danny to Augie, a geek who loves to LARP (Live Action Role Play), and Wheeler to Ronnie, a pint-size foul-mouthed kid. After a rocky start, things start to go well until both Danny and Wheeler make big mistakes. Can the two men figure out how to change enough to be role models to the boys? Written by
Many lines in the film were improvised. The writers did constant rewrites and came up with ideas during filming but had to stop because of the 2007 Writers Guild strike. See more »
When Danny goes to stand up to the King in the Burger Hole, there is no body in the booth behind them at first, then in a different shot, there are people, and then in the next shot, there is nobody yet again. See more »
I'm in a rut, we're in a rut. Let's shake things up. I have an idea, let's get married! I don't have a ring...
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Halfway through the end credits, we cut back to Gayle Sweeny repeating her suggestive use of a hot-dog toward Jim Stansel (continuously pushes the end out of its bun while he sticks it back in). See more »
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.
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."
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