Movie Review: Role Models (Paul Rudd, Seann William Scott, Elizabeth Banks) 2008

Posted: December 2, 2012 in Comedy
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Danny (Rudd) and Wheeler (Scott) are energy drink employees who drive around to schools in a Minotaur topped truck telling kids not to do drugs and to drink their Minotaur themed energy drink.  Danny hates his job, to top it off, Danny’s girlfriend, Beth, (Banks) moves out because he’s being too much of a downer and she can’t make him happy anymore.  One day, as the Minotaur truck is being towed away, Danny decides to be spontaneous and drives the truck free from the tow truck, and runs into a school statue.   Danny and Wheeler can either go to jail, or they can do community service in a mentoring program called Sturdy Wings.  They choose the mentoring program.

Sturdy Wings is run by a former coke addict named Jean Sweeney (Jane Lynch) Jean assigns a kid to both Danny and Wheeler.  Danny gets to mentor Auggie (Christopher Mintz-Plasse) a shy soft spoken nerd who likes to play a role playing game called LAIRE, a Dungeons & Dragons type game.  Auggie’s parents desperately want him to stop playing the game and make new fr9iends.  Danny thinks LAIRE is silly but goes through the motions of being supportive.  Wheeler gets to mentor Ronnie (Bobb’e J Thompson),a tough talking smart-alecky kid with a single mother looking for a father figure.  Ronnie is rough on Wheeler at first, but then they bond over Kiss songs and a common fondness for a certain part of the female anatomy.  Wheeler gets in trouble when he takes Bobby to an adult party and loses him, forcing him to walk home alone.  Danny finally realizes how important LAIRE is to Auggie, but gets into trouble by taking Auggie’s side in a LAIRE dispute and getting him kicked out of the LAIRE community.  Can Danny, Wheeler, and Ronnie form their own LAIRE country in time, so Auggie can become King of LAIRE?  Can Danny get Beth back?

This is a very funny movie. Paul Rudd has perfected  the straight man role stoic while crazy things go on around him. He played much the same role in I Love You Man Seann William Scott plays the happy-go-lucky party animal, Wheeler nicely. Banks is funny when she has to be.  But again it’s Jane Lynch who steals the movie, much as she does in Glee, as the former drug addicted head of the mentoring program.  She is always funny in her now trademark hectoring monotone voice.  There’s also a really good supporting performance by AD Miles as Martin Gary, a Ned Flanders type do-gooder who volunteers for Sturdy Wings.  Mintz –Plasse basically plays the role he played in Superbad, and Thompson plays pretty much a stereotype of the smart-guy inner city kid, but they made me laugh enough to overlook the flaws in writing.  The laughs do slow down a bit in the second half, but overall it’s a good movie with lots of laughs.

Role Models:  A model comedy.

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