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John C. Reilly,
Sacha Baron Cohen
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
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 »
Do what makes you happy. This film actually believes it.
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).
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-
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