Unlike his happy friend, Wheeler (Sean William Scott), Danny Donahue (Paul Rudd) is stuck in a right rut at the moment. Well, if it wasn't bad enough that his girlfriend, Beth Jones (Elizabeth Banks), dumps him due to his lapsed attitude. Worst still, he end up landing both himself and Wheeler into a spot of bother after he crashing their car into a fountain.
Listen, when I say 'bother', what I actually mean by this, is that they are forced to carry out a one hundred and fifty days community service at the bequest of councilor, Gayle Sweeny (Jayne Lynch), in which they have to partake in a ‘big brother’ style program with two strange youths.
Now Danny is assigned to a nerdy-teenager who is obsessed with medieval live-action role-playing games, called Augie Farques (Christopher Mintz-Plasse). Whilst Wheeler is assigned to a rude-little ghetto-runt, called Ronnie Shields (Bobb'e J Thompson)
Alright. I'm sure you're wondering to yourself if this is a good thing or not, right? Now to be perfectly honest with you, folks, it starts off bad, until, as luck would have it, over time Danny connects with Augie on a personal level, and Anson connects with Ronnie due to their mutual love of big tits. Heck, even when Danny and Anson get into some mischief whilst on a camping expedition, Augie and Ronnie cover for them when they are placed under closer scrutiny afterwards by councilor Gale !
Still, you know that old saying? What goes up, must come down. And that is most probably why what next transpires begins when 'adults' and 'kids' clash. As mentors patch things up with their squires - leaders make amends with a pair of pliers - games are hard fought within the scheme of things - and romance is much better than onion rings.
Quite some time ago I myself had to act as a 'mentor' to some poor kid. Neil his name was, and he had a lot of 'issue' at home and at school. So me being a somewhat bohemian guidance figure, I took this ginger haired-sod around with me on my daily regime, explaining to him along the way how life works when you start having to pay bills.
Somehow, whatever I was trying to do with Neil, seemed to work on a certain level. And after our time together, he became a fairly decent young chap. Not the most upstanding individual in the world, granted. But far from being the worst.
Just like 'Role Models' as a matter of fact. In more ways than one.
Well, in my eyes, this flick is what I would call a fairly decent and somewhat nice comedy. Conceptually it is a play it by number morality tale which has a lot going for it. The cast is good. The direction is simple. And the general though line is very easy to follow.
Here, to elaborate what I am trying to say, this is the basic arc of the film: (1) The main protagonists get into trouble. (2) They have to redeem for their sins by doing something that they already detest. (3) They do good. (4) They do bad. (5) They redeem themselves. And (6) The end.
Moreover, another little problem I had with ‘Roles Models’, was the corny factor relating to the ‘medieval live-action role-playing game’ segments. Personally speaking of course, I just found this 'concept' a little too contrived to be truly meaningful. The style of these sections were very hammy at best, and the overall presentation was kind of naff to look at as well. Granted, I understand that they were meant to be naff in the first place. But that still didn't help matters any, huh?
Anyway, apart from the 'predictability' and the 'corny' factor, I have to admit, that everything else in this film really worked for me. The kids, Christopher and Bobb’e, were really great to watch, and wasn't grandstanding in any way shape or form. The councilor, Jane, as ever, has that soccer mum vibe that is one-half whore and one-half captivating. The love interest, Elizabeth, is always a pleasure to see on screen, and I would have liked to have seen her part expanded more than it actually was. And as for the main protagonists, Paul and Sean, well, what can I say? This diametrically unsound paring just exhumes a Middle American panache that is part old school surliness, and part new age boldness. A real treat to watch.
My favorite parts to this movie were those scenes were the 'role models' interact with the kids on a more deeper and meaningful level. Like when they are at home for example. Or when they swap 'life stories' with each other. It just makes this piece more charming as a film, and illustrates in real terms that all someone ever needs in life, is someone to trust in them and understand where they are coming from.
All in all ‘Role Models’ is a very fine film, and reminds me in many ways of a mixture of 'Daddy Day Care', 'Police Academy 1', and 'Superbad' (click here for the review)'. Not a bad mixture for a not bad film. And a not bad film with a lot of heart and pathos to it too. Agreed 'Role Models'?
THE RATING: B