Role Models is the latest comedy that lets more fans fall in love with Paul Rudd. Straight man Paul Rudd gives us a touch of John Cusack from High Fidelity with some Jon Favreau from Swingers sprinkled on top. You might remember Rudd making his first big splash in Clueless, and you will be hard-pressed to find a role he played that you haven't liked in the 13 years since. Rudd is slowly moving his way up the comic ladder from character roles to leading roles, similar to Philip Seymour Hoffman's climb up the drama ladder. I like seeing when good acting is actually appreciated, and I think it is long overdue that Rudd gets some fucking recognition.
Along side Rudd are Seann William Scott, Elizabeth Banks, that McLovin doofus Christopher Mintz-Plasse, and child actor Bobb'e J. Thompson. The Rudd / Scott combination worked for me, and I think they would be a pretty good duo in future comedies; straight man Rudd and party boy Scott compliment each other quite nicely. Seems every time I change my underwear, Elizabeth Banks is in a new movie - maybe I think I am dating her with each movie I see her in, so I need to freshen up with the new skivvies? Not to say I am complaining, because she is a welcome relief to the likes of Cameron Diaz and Jennifer Aniston playing the girlfriend / love interest. Truthfully, I am over this McLovin kid. He did all right in Superbad, but he needs to stay out of my future comedies. I will gladly take Frankie Muniz or Michael Cera (especially after Juno) any day of the week over Mintz-Plasse. Thompson added lots of great, unexpected laughs, and in general did a pretty good job of not pissing me off, as most child actors do.
Role Models starts out with Danny (Rudd) and Wheeler (Scott) driving around to local schools, pushing a ridiculous energy drink. Danny is in a rut, and feels like he should be further along at age 35, so he decides to take it out on everyone, including his live-in, lawyer girlfriend Beth (Banks). It takes little time for Beth to decide she is over Danny's progressively deteriorating mood, so she decides to dump him and move out. Not happy with this news, Danny does what any other warm-blooded American male would do and causes misdemeanors and a felony at one of their school stops. Beth gets involved to keep Danny and Wheeler out of jail, in exchange for them doing 150 hours of community service at "Sturdy Wings" which is essentially the "Big Brother" program. Jane Lynch does a great job as Gayle, the founder of "Sturdy Wings", who is a former coke head slut. Danny is assigned to Augie (Mintz-Plasse) who is a giant nerd, whose live revolves around LARP'ing, and Wheeler is assigned to Ronnie (Thompson), who is the loud/potty mouth kid that drives away any "big" that tries to help him. Gayle calls the adults "bigs" and the children "littles" - how cute.
As to be expected, lots of hilarity ensues when Danny and Wheeler try to inject themselves into their "little's" lives, and they contemplate just taking the jail sentence over the public service several times. Danny tries, in all the wrong ways, to get Beth back, with Elizabeth Banks really selling the fact that she is too good for Rudd's character, and has tried her best to make it work. Anyhow...Danny and Wheeler are making it work out pretty well, and are starting to get to know the kids better. Just as you think everything is going great - wait, we need conflict or the movie will be too short - both Danny, then Wheeler majorly fuck things up with their respective kids. On the day they were supposed to meet Beth for their court appearance, Danny comes up with a brilliant plan to bring everyone together through a giant LARP session. Everyone loves each other again, Augie mans up and gets a little post-LARP kissing action, and Danny magically has Beth fall back in love with him. Oh mom, how I love happy endings!
Besides a quick opening joke, the film started off kind of slow, but it needed to to build the relationship between Danny / Wheeler, and Danny / Beth for the audience. Once that was established, we were showered with laughs from the main stars, Ronnie & Gayle. Like I alluded to earlier, the role of Ronnie was fucking perfect. This kid had me laughing just about every time he opened his mouth and a new series of ridiculous thoughts and vulgar language came out of this 12 year old. Gayle masked her raunchy / dirty side subtlety, which made for several "inappropriate" jokes. Even though there was some mushy shit when Danny & Wheeler momentarily fucked up their relationships with their respective kids, it was just the right amount to keep the mood up. If you liked Bad News Bears you will like Role Models; I put it on par with the comedy from an average Adam Sandler film.
I really enjoyed seeing a rated R comedy without being grossed out, or seeing someone's cock or balls. This was a good comedy that would be great for a date (women will like it), and even your parents would enjoy it. To find out what the "whispering eye" is that I mention in the title, either think for a few seconds, or just go watch Role Models. If for some reason you are still on the fence, I should also note that there are two sets of phenomenal titties that we get to see; both men and women could appreciate their flawlessness.
As a final note: I may have incorrectly assumed that by you reading this, it means you are familiar with LARP'ing; LARP stands for live action role-playing game, and is essentially people dressing up as fantasy characters and playing out fantasy roles. To learn more, just check the Wiki here.