Paul Rudd’s latest irreverent comedy scratches where it itches
The majority of this fall’s R-rated comedies have drawn their laughs from over-the-top disgusting gags. While those things are funny in the moment, they are not memorable. On the other end of the spectrum, you’ll find Role Models.
While the trailers and TV spots for Role Models make it look like it’s just as much Seann William Scott’s movie as it is Paul Rudd’s, it’s really not.
Rudd plays the pessimistic people-hating lead character Danny. Just when Danny hits a mid-life crisis, realizing he’s done absolutely nothing good in his life, his seven-year girlfriend (Zack and Miri’s Elizabeth Banks) leaves him.
Feeling even more down on his luck, along with his work buddy Wheeler (Scott), Danny gets into some legal trouble, forcing the both of them to choose between serving 30 days in jail or 150 hours of community service. They opt for the service.
Danny and Wheeler realize they’re in over their heads when introduced to their service — working with odd kids in a “big brother” center under the weirdest Nazi-of-a-boss. Wheeler is assigned to a wild, foul-mouthed, defiant kid and Danny to a quiet, self-esteem-deprived teen (Superbad’s McLovin) who likes to dress up in Renaissance style clothes, live action role-play and sword fight. It doesn’t take long for Danny and Wheeler to think that jail might have been the easier choice.
Although Role Models is rated R, it is very lighthearted. Had they cut out the vulgarity and nudity, it would be a perfect PG family film. But since it is made for adults, it appeals to that adult sense of humor and does it perfectly. The comedic timing is always spot-on and every place where a joke should be, it is nailed on the head.
If you like the characters that Rudd has played in his past movies (Anchorman, 40-Year-Old-Virgin, Forgetting Sarah Marshall, Knocked Up), then you’ll love Role Models. It is filled with his “acquired taste” humor, yet applies enough mainstream comedy to appeal to anyone who enjoys irreverent, somewhat-vulgar comedies.