Thursday, February 26, 2009

Role Models (2008)

Movie quotes:
Danny (Paul Rudd): Sarah. Ah, Sarah! You ever talk to her?
Augie: (Christopher Mintz-Plasse): No, I killed her a couple of times in battle, but that’s not really…

Wheeler (Seann William Scott): I don't have crabs! What have you been telling these kids?
Ronnie (Bobb'e J. Thompson): That you have crabs.

"Jeez, it's like Shrek's piss."
- Danny, while urinating neon green liquid

"Now let us gingerly touch our tips."
- Kuzzik (Joe Lo Truglio)

At a glance:
Role Models has its share of pandering to lovers of all things tasteless, but it also has plenty of original laugh out loud humor and simulated swordplay to make it worth seeing

Our review:
Two late-twenty-something co-workers are complete opposites. Wheeler (Seann William Scott) is a one-night-stand ladies man who is happy with his life – and he loves his job, which consists of dressing up like a Minotaur and traveling from school to school to promote the green Minotaur soft drink and tell kids to say no to drugs. Danny (Paul Rudd) is the Minotaur’s partner/MC. He’s spent 10 years doing these gigs and feels like he is getting nowhere. When his dismal long-term attitude starts to affect his long-time girlfriend Beth (Elizabeth Banks), she breaks up with him – and things go downhill from there. Faced with either a jail term or community service, the guys take the latter – and end up as mentors for a couple of unusual boys. At its best in the initial stages when Rudd and Scott play off each other, and in the latter stages (with a redemption story that takes place within the confines of a Medieval Battle Club), Role Models weakens a little for a while as it is almost overwhelmed by bad taste, especially its handful of jokes that deal with child abuse. It alternates between hilarity and puerility – so fans of the puerile should be in a constant state of enjoyment. But this is not a lazy comedy; there are plenty of little touches thrown in (like many of Wheeler’s comments about actors) that would not have been there if the creators only cared about grinding out another gross-out teen pic. Good supporting work by Christopher Mintz-Plasse (who plays the quintessential nerd to perfection), the remarkable Bobb'e J. Thompson, Elizabeth Banks, and Joe Lo Truglio.

Perhaps because I have just finished watching a string of tasteful classy Oscar nominated dramas, Role Models probably seemed intensely offensive at times. But I should also temper my love of its humor, because those Oscar movies were extremely serious and virtually devoid of laughs.

Rating: 2.75 of 4

Other reviewers said:
"Has a very high laugh-per-minute ratio."
-Mike McGranaghan (Aisle Seat)

"Well, here's something we don't usually see at the movies. 'Role Models' is a raucously bawdy lowbrow comedy with a brain."
-Larry Ratliff (San Antonio Express-News)

"'Role Models' is what you might expect, a juvenile farce that celebrates a sort of nihilistic, anything-goes raunchiness before revealing its heart of gold. There's nothing wrong with a formula like this when it works. Here it does."
-Rossiter Drake (San Francisco Examiner)

"Where most mainstream comedies strain to make their jokes as zany and crazy as possible, Role Models has the unspeakable bravery to base almost all of its comedy on things that could actually happen."
-Tim Brayton (Antagony & Ecstasy)

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