Role Models

2009-02-06 11:10
 
Role Models

What it's about:

Danny (Paul Rudd) is a disillusioned energy drink salesman who hates his job. He is teamed up with the optimistically infantile Wheeler (Seann William Scott), and his relationship with his long-term girlfriend is on the rocks. After a parking ticket sends him into a rage and he crashes his company vehicle, he and Wheeler are sentenced to 150 hours of community service at an outreach centre for troubled youths. Danny ends up partnered to nerdy role player Augie (Superbad's Christopher Mintz-Plasse), while Wheeler gets foul mouthed problem child Ronnie (Bobb’e J. Thompson). Initially the self centered guys are resistant to their task, but soon they get to know their little buddies, and predictably learn something about themselves.


What we thought of it:

Role Models is another title in the constantly spreading puddle of humour originating from writer/producer Judd Apatow and his cohorts, responsible for such gems as The 40 Year Old Virgin and Knocked Up. Unfortunately the speedy spread of Apatow’s style hasn’t been matched by the quality of his original creations, and as we all know, it’s easy to have too much of a good thing. In this case, we get the same level of funny as Drillbit Taylor, complete with the annoying moral content.

Co-written by Apatow staple Paul Rudd, Role Models starts promisingly enough with the spiky relationship between the hedonistic Wheeler (Seann William Scott at his charming best) and the anxiety wracked Danny giving rise to some classic riffing. The relationship between Danny and his girlfriend is less satisfying – plucked straight from the weakest romcom you can imagine. When the guys meet their kids, things get better, even out, and finally plummet to sentimental depths at the well signposted end.

The highlights of Role Models are very funny – scenes like the naked, drugged up Wheeler hugging another uptight big brother are side-splitting, but sadly not frequent enough. Many of the supporting cast are also responsible for big laughs, like Jane Lynch as the coke obsessed ex-addict head of outreach centre Sturdy Wings, who has the best lines in the movie – "Why don't you lay out two lines of your selfishness, which is your blow, draw the shades, take the phone off the hook, grab a straw, and snort!"

There is also a brilliant running gag with Augie’s live action role playing battle enactment society and the prissy King Argotron (Ken Jeong) and his penchant for inappropriate touching. This is clearly aimed at role players and gamers, who should appreciate the reference laden dialogue and realistic portrayal of the scene. Had Role Models run with any of these subplots it would have been a much funnier, sharper movie, albeit with a smaller target market.

As usual, there is nothing new here, but there are enough laugh out loud jokes to have you leaving the cinema in a good mood. If you’re expecting something as funny as Knocked Up or Superbad, forget it. For something truly hilarious, check out the earlier titles from the Apatow stable, or last year’s brilliant Forgetting Sarah Marshall.



Two energy drink salesmen are ordered to do community service in a big brother programme with amusing, if predictable, results.

Fred 2009/02/17 9:02 AM
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Looks like a good comedy. A guy thing...lol.
Peter 2009/02/17 4:44 PM
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A funny movie, a good teen comedy
Frank 2009/02/18 9:12 AM
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Looking forward to watching this morning.
Afred 2009/02/18 9:13 AM
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Some good actors here.
Ian 2009/02/18 9:16 AM
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He is an extreme actor. Will be a good movie to watch
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