November 07, 2008

Role Models

Ok, I voted for what?

Grade: C –

Director: David Wain

Starring: Paul Rudd, Seann William Scott, Christopher Mintz-Plasse, Bobb’e J. Thompson, Elizabeth Banks, and Jane Lynch

MPAA Rating: R

Running Time: 1 hour, 39 minutes

In Role Models, a couple of energy drink reps-turned-reprobates, Danny (Paul Rudd) and Wheeler (Seann William Scott), must work off court-ordered community service by serving as Big Brothers to two troubled youths: Augie (Christopher Mintz-Plasse) the socially retarded teen obsessed with medieval role-playing, and Ronnie (Bobb’e J. Thompson) the socially inappropriate black kid obsessed with bad behavior.

A number of guilty giggles litter a screenplay written by the team behind the 1990s MTV sketch comedy show, The State. However, most of the humor rests upon easy stereotypes and crassness. There is nothing original in seeing Scott reprise another post-adolescent version of Steve Stifler or the acerbic Paul Rudd again play, well, the acerbic Paul Rudd. There is nothing edgy about seeing Mintz-Plasse (McLovin from Superbad) take a one-way ticket to typecasting by again playing a geek. There is nothing timely about Elizabeth Banks being relegated to another inconsequential supporting role – here as Danny’s on-again, off-again girlfriend – just as her film career is hitting its stride. And, most of all, there is nothing amusing about a 12-year-old African-American actor (Thompson) being asked to spout a torrent of crude profanity for sake of cheap laughs.

Only Jane Lynch emerges intact as the mentoring program’s high-strung head who trumpets her own checkered past a bit too proudly. Otherwise, whereas Danny and Wheeler got off easy by avoiding jail, sitting through Role Models felt like doing hard time.

Neil Morris

1 comment:

Unknown said...

Specially created teen drama I should say. For a comedy it wont be that much familiar. But thought it have lot to do with issues for youth. Like the life style of the two salesman. It is true American. When going to the end it was smooth tender of drama I feel. Role Models (2008) set it standards with volumes to speak with. It was nicely added on with no real hurry on tape