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Role Models (2008)

DVD Cover (Universal)
Genres:
Comedy, Farce
Director:
David Wain David Wain
Starring:
Seann William Scott Seann William Scott
Paul Rudd Paul Rudd
Christopher Mintz-Plasse Christopher Mintz-Plasse
Bobb'e J. Thompson Bobb'e J. Thompson
Elizabeth Banks Elizabeth Banks
User Lists:
> Worst Films of 2008

6.3 / 10 - Overall Rating

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Review by bluemeanie
Added: November 10, 2008
Director David Wain has been hit-or-miss with me. When I first saw "Wet Hot American Summer", I hated it. By the fifth or sixth time I saw it, I loved it. I was quoting it to people and watching it anytime I needed a good laugh. What happened was that my tastes in humor changed over the years from the first time I saw it to the second time I saw it and I slowly started growing fond of the film. When "The Ten" rolled around I was beyond excited. However, it proved to be a big disappointment and I just can't enjoy it anymore than I did the first time I saw it. I love that kind of humor, which is also why I loved "The State" and "Stella"; however, there has just been something about David Wain that always threw me on the first go. "Role Models" is an exception. It's his most mainstream film to date and it's also easily his funniest. If 2008 is the Year of the Comedy, "Role Models" is the cream of the crop.

Danny (Paul Rudd) and Wheeler (Seann William Scott) are two 30-somethings who work for Minotaur Energy Drinks, visiting local schools and preaching on the benefits of the delicious green liquid. After Danny's girlfriend (Elizabeth Banks) refuses his marriage proposal and breaks up with him, Danny becomes even more destructive than usual, eventually landing both Danny and Wheeler with 150-hours of community service, which is to be spent at a facility called Sturdy Wings, which partners 'bigs' with 'littles' in the hopes of forming lasting friendships. The owner of this facility is Gayle Sweeny (Jane Lynch), a former drug addict turned straight. Danny's 'little' turns out to be a magic-freak named Augie Farks (Christopher Mintz-Plasse), who loves role playing games and hates his mother and step-father. Wheeler's 'little' is Ronnie (Bobb'e J. Thompson), an insanely energetic kid who spits out profanity left and right and doesn't want to do anything but talk about adult themed ideology.

Most of this film deals with Rudd and Scott dealing with their respective kids and forming bonds with them. There is actually a sweetness to the film that is hiding underneath the language and the nudity and the various other items that should keep children from viewing this picture. The plotline is pretty formulaic in the grand scheme of things and a lot of it is pretty predictable, but the actors have a lot of fun with the material, the kid actors are just fantastic and supporting turns from Jane Lynch and Joe Lo Truglio are scene stealers. There is also an awful lot of respect paid to the band KISS, referenced many times throughout the film. Wain, as always, has a fondness for injecting 1980's pop culture into his films and he does so again here, and it works quite well. Any time I heard a KISS member referenced, I was rolling in the floor like the rest of the audience.

What surprised me most was how well Rudd and Scott worked together. I have never been a huge Paul Rudd fan and I have never been a huge Seann William Scott fan, so I was expecting disaster. Rudd does basically the same thing he always does, but his writing is superior and he has a nice foil in Scott to work with. Seann William Scott is coming into his own these days and I am glad he seems to be sticking with comedy and staying away from the action and thriller genre. He has a youthful energy about him, which is not what Rudd has at all, which is why they work so well together. And, as mentioned before, Jane Lynch steals the entire movie in her role as the former cocaine addict who doesn't like bullshitters because she's the queen bullshitter. Also keep an eye out for the insanely underrated Ken Jeong as the King. He's hysterical.

The writing is the best thing about this film and it's enough to make it one of the funniest films of the year. David Wain's humor has always been 'different' and he finally manages to keep that unique spirit, but make it more accessible to the rest of audiences out there. "Wet Hot American Summer" is great, but it alienates a lot of people. "Role Models" might alienate a few with its language and graphic lampoons, but screw them. The film is over-the-top, laugh out loud funny and actually very sensitive to the kids therein. It's a sweet film about two kids finding acceptance and friendship where they couldn't find it before, and it's about two grown men learning that there's more to this life than themselves. Oh, and it's about titties and drinking too. 8.5/10.
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Tristan #1: Tristan - added 11/10/2008, 11:37 PM
Absolutely horrendous. I laughed maybe once or twice. It's a shame Paul Rudd keeps signing on to bad movies. See The Ten, Over Her Dead Body, this movie.

0/10
bluemeanie #2: bluemeanie - added 11/11/2008, 10:47 AM
To each his own, I suppose. This film was fucking hysterical. Joe Lo Truglio talking in Old English was just hysterical. Everything related to L.A.I.R.E. was insanely funny, especially Ken Jeong as the King.
Strait Killa #3: Strait Killa - added 11/11/2008, 02:58 PM
Man, I thought this movie was hilarious. My favorite part was when Sean William Scott was talking to Ronny about Kiss' song Love Gun. I almost couldn't breathe after that, I was laughing so hard.

I'd go with a 9/10, one of the funniest movies I've seen all year long
Bliss From A Dead Embrace #4: Bliss From A Dead Embrace - added 11/13/2008, 02:04 AM
I enjoyed the whole little black kid cursing while dressed as kiss and dawning a battle axe. Good stuff. 8/10
Vash #5: Vash - added 12/06/2008, 02:23 PM
wow, again, agreed. this might be one of the funniest movies i've seen this year, which was a huge surprise. everything paul rudd says is funny, and the kid who plays Ronny had incredible delivery. the "fuck you, miss daisy!" line was perfect. there were so many lines i didn't expect in this kind of movie. "he's the guy who did the music for 'the sting.'" "good movie." fucking golden. jane lynch dancing out from behind the television was also amazing. yeah, definitely one of the funnier movies of the year, and proof that rudd can carry a movie on his own and not every single fucking comedy needs to star seth "i'm a stupid kike" rogen.
Lucid Dreams #6: Lucid Dreams - added 09/06/2010, 09:31 PM
A good film, but nothing really great. I don't know why but it was just missing something to me. The Kiss stuff at the end was awesome though. 7/10
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