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Role Models Review

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Role Models


R 95 min





Last issue we did ZACK AND MIRI MAKE A PORNO, an offbeat comedy which your humble narrator found to be yet another Kevin Smith diamond in the rough.

This time we’re going with another odd but profitable comedy ROLE MODELS. Let’s call it David Wain’s chunk of granite in the rough. Well, maybe feldspar.

Wain, whose credits include the stunningly un funny RENO 911, has offered up a cookie cutter redemption comedy that may have been found it Jim Carrey or Adam Sandler’s wastebasket.

Paul Rudd and Seann William Scott are Danny, a whiner stuck in a miserable job and failing relationship and Wheeler the obnoxious best pal.

The job consists of driving a custom SUV to schools promoting an energy drink (obviously patterned after Red Bull) via an embarrassing anti drug shtick.

Finally Danny reaches the breaking point, launches into Life sucks/This stuff’s poison rant and crashes the company SUV on school property.

Even though he’s been officially dumped by his attorney girlfriend (Elizabeth Banks from ZACK AND MIRI) she works out a deal allowing the fellows to swap jail time for community service with a “Big Brothers” clone.

The guys are assigned two of the organizations toughest cases. Wheeler, a foul-mouthed little sex fiend and Danny gets Augie, a nerd who immerses himself in a Dungeon and Dragon kind of fantasy world as a means of escape from reality.

It’s no spoiler that before it’s over there will be life affirming bonding and a triumphant ending. Hey, gang, this ain’t Bergman, then again I didn’t want to see Bergman.

Honestly ROLE MODELS starts out as maybe a D.

I thought the production was unnecessarily cheesy, Danny too much of a drag and Wheeler (and his young charge) too obnoxious and vulgar for empathy, and I didn’t get the chemistry between Rudd and Banks.

But wait, it does get better.

Jane Lynch really is funny and the over the top as the recovered booze dope and sex addicted director of the faux Big Brothers organization.

I’ll also admit that many of the gags that missed the mark are actually not too far off target and I did find myself rooting hard for Augie and Danny to get over the hump.

After all is said and done I found the meter had slowly risen from a D to a B-.

There isn’t much new or outstanding but it’d be hard to leave the theater without a smile.




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