A rare achievement in comedy, “Role Models” keeps audiences entertained and laughing throughout the length of the movie.
Starring Seann William Scott and Paul Rudd, this comedy encounters two men who sell Minotaur energy drinks to kids. Danny (Rudd) becomes overcome with the feeling he is stuck in a rut, so he spontaneously proposes to his girlfriend, gets dumped, harasses a police officer and drives his company truck into a school statue all within an hour.
Wheeler (Scott) is along for the ride, and both end up sentenced to either 30 days in jail or 150 hours of community service for a mentoring program.
Their lawyer, Danny’s ex-girlfriend, chooses community service for them.
From there, the comedy escalates as each character is paired with an equally, over-exaggeratedly strange kid.
The comedy is not forced, like in recent comedies such as “College,” but is rather a result of the actor’s comfort with the other and connection to the script. Danny is paired with Augie, a kid who escapes to a fantasy world called “Lair.” In actuality, in his first few mentoring hours, Danny is dragged along to a field where people dress up as elves, knights, wizards and kings and fight for their “country.”
A conflict immediately arises with the king and Danny, generating a situation unexplored in other films, and exceedingly hilarious in this.
Wheeler, paired with a foul-mouthed angry child, Ronnie, must deal with his obstinacy and find a way to counter his attacks.
When Ronnie hijacks his car, Wheeler reacts by drinking Ronnie’s juice, a juvenile tactic that results in the expected laughter.
The lines that were written were meant to be hilarious, but would not have been so without the talent of the actors.
Granted, there is the inevitable sexual humor that seems to override all comedies, it does not induce the hand-over-mouth, embarrassed laughter. Rather everyone in the audience laughs outright. Wheeler especially deals with Ronnie in ways that most would deem completely unacceptable if it wasn’t for the personas that each develop so early on.
Wheeler portrays an immature, sex-obsessed man, while Ronnie agrees entirely. In this inappropriate way, the younger and older get along perfectly.
With the unusual tactic of incorporating a game world with a kid’s real life, and the acceptance of that world by his mentor, both Danny and Wheeler learn from the experience.
An awkward relationship between the main characters runs throughout, and the comedy keeps on going. Surprisingly, and satisfyingly, “Role Models” portrays a real, and fulfilling, comedy.
Staff writer Kelly Bleck can be reached at email@example.com.