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ROLE MODELS

SYNOPSIS:
Two young and aimless energy drink salesmen, Wheeler (Sean William Scott) and Danny (Paul Rudd) are sentenced to community service after destroying their company's monster truck. Forced to act as mentors to troubled kids, the boys must learn to tailor their immature wisdom and become the ultimate role models.

Review by Andrew L. Urban:
Young people at the preview screening I attended laughed frequently, which I report in an effort to be fair and balanced in my otherwise negative response to Role Models. Like so many of Hollywood's youth oriented comedies, this is like a mound of dog turd flavoured with honey; the crass vulgarities are sweetened by add-on humanity. But just like dog turd with honey on it, the mess is unappetising.

Sean William Scott and Paul Rudd play losers without too many redeeming features, I guess to ensure that they appeal to the lowest common denominator in the market. The 12 year old Bobb'e J. Thompson (who was a rapper at age 5) plays Ronnie, an obnoxious little brat with no redeeming features, and Jane Lynch plays Gayle, the ladyboss at the kids' home, as if her character's name was a stage direction. But she's good at it. Ronnie is the boy who gets Sean William Scott Penn's Wheeler as his 'big' (as in big brother, I guess) while Wheeler works off 150 hours of community service to avoid jail.

Danny's 'small' is Augie Farks, played with gormless charm by Christopher Mintz-Plasse; Augie is into medieval role playing with fellow fans who fight ancient battles with clunky foam shields and cardboard swords. Danny has to deal with it, along with Augie's unsupportive mother and her dork of a boyfriend. As always in such films, everything is larger than life but smaller than reality.

I am always amazed how many American movies no longer respect childhood innocence, adult characters not only talking but behaving really badly in front of them. Eight and 10 year olds are regularly exposed to foul and sexually graphic language - and without much complaint from other adults. It's distracting, really.

Role Models, built on a flimsy idea that may support a 24 minute (commercial half hour) TV sit com, runs out of gas quickly, scrambling for traction in an uninteresting romantic subplot involving deadpan Paul Rudd's Danny and Elizabeth Banks' Beth. Beth is a lawyer who has been with Danny for seven years; this alone should get her debarred.

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CRITICAL COUNT
Favourable: 0
Unfavourable: 1
Mixed: 0

ROLE MODELS (MA)
(US, 2008)

CAST: Sean William Scott, Paul Rudd, Christopher Mintz-Plasse, Bobb'e J. Thompson, Elizabeth Banks, Jane Lynch, Ken Jeong, Ken Marino

PRODUCER: Luke Greenfield, Mary Parent, Matthew Seigel, Scott Stuber

DIRECTOR: David Wain

SCRIPT: David Wain, Paul Rudd, Ken Marino, Timothy Dowling

CINEMATOGRAPHER: Russ T. Alsobrook

EDITOR: Eric Kissack

MUSIC: Craig Wedren

PRODUCTION DESIGN: Stephen J. Lineweaver

RUNNING TIME: 95 minutes

AUSTRALIAN DISTRIBUTOR: Universal

AUSTRALIAN RELEASE: January 15, 2009







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