Our Mission
Prize Trivia
The Golden Rules
Movie of the Month
Movie News
Movie Reviews
Submit a Review
Your Videos/Movies
Movies by Period/Category
Register & WIN!
role models

Role Models
Director: David Wain
Cast: Paul Rudd, Seann William Scott, Elizabeth Banks, Christopher Mintz-Plasse, Bobb'e J Thompson, Jane Lynch, Ken Jeong, Ken Marino

Tony DeFrancisco

November 25, 2008


Before I was interested in reviewing films, I was interested in writing them. This is no lie. I could tell you tons and tons of premises that I worked on, but I won’t, fearing that you might be a secret Hollywood personality that might try and steal my ideas, “Big Fat Liar” style. But I can tell the story of one of them – one of my ideas that I felt like writing a screenplay for would be two co-workers who ended up having to do community service for three months time and have to spend time with kids that have problems. I figured that the title would be, coincidentally, “Role Models.”

And I’m dead serious.

That filmmaking dream ended as soon as I became interested in watching movies more than I wanted to make them, and then I quickly forgot a few of the ideas that I had. After watching a comedic version of my idea called “Role Models,” it brought me back to one of the ideas that I had about the movies that I wanted to make. And even though this one was a totally different subject than the one I would have made, I would like to say that this is the “Role Models” that I now would have loved to make.

Danny (Paul Rudd) is a cynical 35-year old guy who just wishes that he could do something else with his life. Wheeler, (Seann William Scott) on the other hand, is so loose that he needs a belt-buckle around his personality to keep it from falling down. These two men go from school to school in a Minotaur outfit telling students to stay away from drugs but drink the power of an energy drink called Minotaur. When Danny’s girlfriend Beth (Elizabeth Banks) breaks up with him, Danny gets so mad that he tells a school of kids to start using drugs. Once leaving the school, he discovers the company’s truck getting towed, and decides to take matters in his own hands… and you know that it doesn’t go so right.

So Beth, being the lawyer that she is, talks the judge into giving the two men a break by letting them to community service at a place called Sturdy-Wings, ran by ex-drug addict Gayle Sweeney. (Jane Lynch in a star-stealing performance) Danny is paired up with uber-geek Augie Farks (Christopher “McLovin” Mintz-Plasse) who is interested in knights and fairies and stuff like that. Wheeler happens to get the demon-child from hell who goes by the name of Ronnie. (Bobb’e J. Thompson) While these men begin learning how to grow up and act more responsible, they begin finding what it means to exist in the world.

“Role Models” is directed by David Wain of TV’s “The State” and films such as “Wet Hot American Summer” and “The Ten.” You can see traces of “The State” and the films all around “Role Models.” There are cameos from some of the show’s cast members and the humor is just on par from the show and the two films. Not to mention that “Role Models” is funnier than “The Ten” and “Wet Hot American Summer” combined, it contains some of the best choreography that I’ve seen this year. I don’t want to spoil what the choreography is for, but you’ll probably be coming out thinking the same thing.

Paul Rudd does an excellent job at staying cynical while still finding a little bit of heart in his role. Even though it is just a small, dark heart, he manages to be funny and likeable at the same time. There’s a scene where he is attacking a Starbuck’s waitress when she tells him that a “venti” is a large coffee, and while it is deadly funny, think about what this says about Rudd’s character. Is he so desperate for a little bit of action in his life that he picks a fight against a lady a little more than half his age just because he can?

And it feels good to see Seann William Scott in a role that is funny again. The last time he made me laugh this hard was “American Wedding,” and Stifler has been resurrected as a comedic god. This role is almost the exact opposite of Stifler, except this guy still really likes the ladies. This guy is good around kids, isn’t nearly as mouthy, and still knows how to have a good time without getting drunk. That, and he has a good taste in music and movies. Quite frankly, Wheeler may be Scott’s best character.

The movie is controlled by its supporting characters, though. Bobb’e J. Thompson plays a foul-mouthed ten year old kid, and is easily the bright side of the film. Whenever he calls Rudd a Ben Affleck lookalike, it is absolutely hilarious. Christopher Mintz-Plasse plays almost the exact opposite of McLovin, and you will hear that from nowhere else. Every critic thinks he is playing just a geekier version of him, but he’s just playing a nicer and gentler version. Elizabeth Banks really has been doing a good job this year, especially with “W.” and “Zack and Miri Make a Porno,” and “Role Models” guarantees her an awesome comedic career. But no one in the film made me laugh harder than Jane Lynch. I won’t even tell you why. Just go see it for yourself.

“Role Models” has been called an Apatow-movie, even though Apatow had nothing to do with this film. I don’t see any traces of Apatow in this flick. All I see is a lot of fun, and for the most part, Apatow’s films have just been sub-par lately (excluding what was “Forgetting Sarah Marshall,” which is the best romantic comedy since “Annie Hall.”) “Role Models” has everything that you would want from a raunchy comedy. But you know what’s better than “Role Models?” “Zack and Miri Make a Porno.” And you guys are slowly forgetting about that one.


We would love to hear what you think! Agree? Disagree with this Moviebuff? Send your Review in TODAY!
Click here to send us your review
Or copy and paste into your email browser:  reviews@moviebuffs.com
include your review in your email!