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"Role Models"

Directed by David Wain.
Written by Paul Rudd, David Wain, Ken Marino and Timothy Dowling.
Starring Paul Rudd, Seann William Scott, Christopher Mintz-Plasse and Bobb'e J. Thompson.
Release Year:  2008
Review Date:  12/2/08


Some of the guys that helped make "The Ten" made "Role Models"...I'm sure glad I didn't know that until AFTER I saw "Role Models", because that might have made me skip what ended up being a really funny movie.

Sure, "Role Models" feels like it was made by the "Superbad"/"The 40-Year-Old Virgin" crowd, and that's not a bad thing--two energy drink sales reps (Paul Rudd and Seann William Scott, essentially playing themselves) get in trouble with the law and are forced to do 150 hours of community service at a Big Brother-like program run by a former cocaine addict (Jane Lynch, a frequent player in Christopher Guest movies like "A Mighty Wind").  Rudd's character, Danny, is assigned to mentor a teenage dork named Augie (Christopher Mintz-Plasse, from "Superbad"); Scott's character, Wheeler, is assigned to mentor a ten-year-old, profanity-proficient, breast-loving kid named Ronnie (Bobb'e J. Thompson).  After rough starts, and lots of laughs, everything works itself out.

"Role Models" had a funny trailer, and thanks to a bevy of wrongness/profanity/physical humor/mock medieval battlefields, the movie gets lots of mileage out of things you don't see in the film's trailer.  Comedies like this are fewer and farther between, and even though the film is far from perfect (and, I laughed harder during "Pineapple Express" and even "Tropic Thunder" at times), I think you need to see this movie.  Certainly, it fits right into the guy wheelhouse--pretty girls, lots of shit-talking, completely gratuitous toilet humor (in small bursts, thankfully), and people who get "killed" by large foam swords.

Scott has made so many of these types of films, it is amazing that I think he is still funny, but there he is, being funny again; the real surprise here is Thompson, who is great as the kid and has many of the film's best lines.  I don't know how his parents feel about cursing non-stop during a 100-minute film, but that's not my problem, and here, it works very, very well.  Lynch also shines as the deadpan former coke user...her line at the end of this film, where she leads with "I don't want to get into too much detail...", might be the hardest I laughed during the movie.

In trying to show us the softer side of the guys, with obvious moments of where the adults let their mentees down, "Role Models" was eh.  But otherwise, this was great stuff and I'm already excited to see when this puppy starts up in regular rotation on pay cable.

Rating:  $9.50 Show


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Bellview Rating System:

"Opening Weekend":  This is the highest rating a movie can receive.  Reserved for movies that exhibit the highest level of acting, plot, character development, setting...or Salma Hayek.  Not necessarily in that order. 

"$X.XX Show":  This price changes each year due to the inflation of movie prices; currently, it is the $9.50 Show.  While not technically perfect, this is a movie that will still entertain you at a very high level.  "Undercover Brother" falls into this category; it's no "Casablanca", but you'll have a great time watching.  The $9.50 Show won't win any Oscars, but you'll be quoting lines from the thing for ages (see "Office Space"). 

"Matinee":  An average movie that merits no more than a $6.50 viewing at your local theater.  Seeing it for less than $9.50 will make you feel a lot better about yourself.  A movie like "Blue Crush" fits this category; you leave the theater saying "That wasn't too, did you see that Lakers game last night?" 

"Rental":  This rating indicates a movie that you see in the previews and say to your friend, "I'll be sure to miss that one."  Mostly forgettable, you couldn't lose too much by going to Hollywood Video and paying $3 to watch it with your sig other, but you would only do that if the video store was out of copies of "Ronin."  If you can, see this movie for free.  This is what your TV Guide would give "one and a half stars." 

"Hard Vice":  This rating is the bottom of the barrel.  A movie that only six other human beings have witnessed, this is the worst movie I have ever seen.  A Shannon Tweed "thriller," it is so bad as to be funny during almost every one of its 84 minutes, and includes the worst ending ever put into a movie.  Marginally worse than "Cabin Boy", "The Avengers" or "Leonard, Part 6", this rating means that you should avoid this movie at all costs, or no costs, EVEN IF YOU CAN SEE IT FOR FREE!  (Warning:  strong profanity will be used in all reviews of "Hard Vice"-rated movies.)

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The "fine print":
All material by Justin Elliot Bell for SMR/Bellview/ except where noted
1999-2009 Justin Elliot Bell This site was last updated 01/08/09