Thursday, November 6, 2008

REVIEW: Role Models...



Sometimes, expectations really help the overall film experience. Last year, as some of you may or may not know, I got the chance to see the rather dreadful film, The Ten. It starred Paul Rudd and the film was helmed by a personal favorite of mine, David Wain. Well, the two are back together, and this time they brought a long Sean William Scott and have brought us the new film, Role Models. I was not to enthused about checking this film out, not only for the lame trailers that were released, but The Ten nuked the fridge so much for me, that I wasn't ready to forgive Mr. Wain quite yet. Well, all my friends, has be forgiven.

Role Models stars Sean William Scott and Paul Rudd as two energy drink salesmen, Wheeler and Danny. Danny hates his job, and one day, he is dumped by his long time girlfriend. This sends him over the deep end, and after his company monster truck gets towed, he decides to take matters into his own hands, and drives the truck off of the tow truck, and onto a statue of a bull. After their arrest, the court gives them a choice: do hard time or spend 150 hours with a mentor ship program. After one day with the kids, however, jail doesn't look half bad. Once the center's director (Jane Lynch) gives them an ultimatum, Danny and Wheeler are forced to tailor their brand of immature wisdom to their charges, Augie (Christopher Mintz-Plasse) and Ronnie (Bobb'e J. Thompson).

This has been a year chock full of solid comedies. Pineapple Express, Tropic Thunder, Zack and Miri, and Burn After Reading, so I'm going to sound like a broken record, but when discussing comedies, one thing matters. The laughs. This film had me grinning and at many moments, all out laughing for most of the film. It is a lot of juvenile humor, comparable to that of a toned down Step Brothers, but this has something that film didn't, heart.

The plot centers around a break up between Paul Rudd's character, Danny, and the gorgeous and gifted Elizabeth Banks' character, Beth, and their chemistry and interchanges were really well done. Paul Rudd shows once again just how gifted of a comedic actor he is. Every line that comes out of his mouth is perfectly delivered and he really holds this film. He also helped co write the script with director David Wain, and the two really know how to do vulgar comedy, and still have some heart.

All of that said, the films true star is the perfect pairing of Sean William Scott and Paul Rudd. The two are cast perfectly, and give the film a little more depth than most other "stupid" comedies. Sean William Scott has made a living off of the oblivious frat boy-esque "Stiffler" style of guy who doesn't want a job, but would love a beer and a broad. Then you have the conservative, hilariously deadpan Danny played by Paul Rudd, who is so hard on himself that it ultimately ends his seven year relationship with Beth. The script really lets the two play off of each other, and I would love to see these two stay as a team, and take the place of Will Ferrel and John C. Reily. I had more fun watching these two.

The supporting cast is also rather well cast and give solid performances, particularly Christopher Mintz Plasse, McLovin to most of you, but he is really great, and I can't wait to see him in the upcoming film, Kick Ass. He's a geeky kid, he's got an unsupportive home, and in such a ridiculous film, especially in his counterpart, Wheeler's small Ronnie played by Bobb'e J. Thompson, he gives much more heart and his love story adds some needed "cuteness" to the flick. Thompson was funny, but a bit boisterous, and the smaller characters had their moments. That all said, as with most films, it does have some flaws.

Can we get some artistry in our comedies, or is that to much to ask? Seriously, point and shoot comedies are fun, and it's fine to let the laughs work on their own, but it's also a kiss of death, and this film fell for it. The film hits a lot more than it misses, but with a story this thin and a film this over the top, when the jokes missed, it left me near snores. There is a little love story between Augie and another "LAIRE" player, but there isn't enough meat to it, and some jokes just didn't hit, and without the visual flares of say Pineapple Express or Tropic Thunder, or even Burn After Reading, it just left me hanging. The second act really lagged as well, and the true jump the shark moment was a ridiculously forced "bonding" montage, that just didn't work.

Overall, the film worked, but outside of the laughs, the film didn't have much meat. It's like disposable cameras. Fun for the time you have it, but afterwards, you just discard it and move on. Worth a shot if you want some good laughs, and hell, go see it with some friends and have a good time...

ROLE MODELS: 7.5/10

That's all I've got for now, so come back later for more news and notes...

Go see something good!!

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