Role Models (2008) starring Seann William Scott, Paul Rudd, Christopher Mintz-Plasse, Bobb'e J. Thompson, Elizabeth Banks, Jane Lynch, Ken Jeong directed by David Wain Movie Review

Role Models (2008)   3/53/53/53/53/5

Seann William Scott and Paul Rudd in Role Models (2008)

Minotaur Sprouts Sturdy Wings

It feels wrong to be laughing when a little kid back chats an adult and it also feels wrong that those who love role playing and dungeon & dragon like games are portrayed as complete and utter geeks. But the strange thing is that in "Role Models" it does end up being funny because the little kid giving attitude is giving it to Seann William Scott whilst the boy portrayed as a geek ends up being a hero. And to be honest it is a good thing that the profanity and mickey taking does end up being funny because the underlying story to "Role Models" which is basically a buddy set up is not that original. In fact long before it ever reaches the end you can predict the peaks and troughs of the story as well as a feel good ending, although you have to say that the feel good ending is pretty spectacular.

When Danny (Paul Rudd - Forgetting Sarah Marshall) is dumped by his girlfriend for becoming boring it ends up affecting him, so much so that whilst out doing his job with friend Wheeler (Seann William Scott - Mr. Woodcock) he ends up getting into a fight with a tow truck driver. Forced to do community service at Sturdy Wings they find themselves paired with two young buddies. Danny has to become friends with Augie (Christopher Mintz-Plasse), a geek whose only love is role playing games whilst Wheeler finds himself with Ronnie (Bobb'e J. Thompson) whose profanity fuelled back chat means that no buddy has lasted the course with him. Despite struggling to get to know their little buddies the 4 of them finally bond, that is until Danny and Wheeler mess up again.

Bobb'e J. Thompson as Ronnie in Role Models (2008)

So the storyline to "Role Models", well I'll be honest it's not great as we have two adults bonding with two kids and through the friendships which form they all learn something. The one who is feeling down and stressed discovers how to have fun and in doing so wins the girl, his friend discovers there is more to life than just sex. And then you have the kids with one learning to trust whilst the other one rising up from being a geek to a hero. It's all very obvious and as already mentioned the peaks and troughs of the storyline can easily be predicted and you know that when Wheeler and Danny bond with their little buddies they will inevitably mess it up and have to come good in the end. As such all the padding, the fight with a truck driver and issues with the manager of Sturdy Wings are just that padding.

But to be honest "Role Models" isn't really about the story, the journey of the 4 characters and the faux uplifting ending but it is about the comedy. And here is the thing the comedy is so wrong yet at the same time so right. Yes it is shocking to hear young Bobb'e J. Thompson who plays Ronnie deliver profanity filled back chat but then not only is his timing so perfect but the fact he is delivering the onslaught of back chat at Seann William Scott's Wheeler in a strange way makes it acceptable. You end up enjoying watching Scott being taken down by a young kid.

At the same time the humour which comes from making fun of Christopher Mintz-Plasse as Augie and his basically being a geek feels cruel but then it switches it to make him the hero and it becomes strangely acceptable. Not all the humour work and the whole series of gags about Sweeny the manager of Sturdy Wings and her desire for cocaine feels seriously out of place but for the most it strangely works. And you have to say the first time you see the Minotaur truck you just can't help but laugh, same with the KISS inspired ending.

As for the acting well like the actual story it's nothing new but Seann William Scott is definitely at home playing the sex craved Wheeler whilst Paul Rudd seems equally at home playing the unfortunate Danny. Both work well together and also with the young actors Bobb'e J. Thompson and Christopher Mintz-Plasse who play Ronnie and Augie. In fact it is these two young actors who end up delivering the most fun in the movie and even put the likes of Jane Lynch and Elizabeth Banks in the shade.

What this all boils down to is that "Role Models" is a movie which shouldn't be funny but ends up being funny. Whilst not a Judd Apatow movie it is definitely in the same style and delivers plenty of similar laughs. It's the sort of movie you watch once and enjoy but doesn't demand a return viewing.