Best of the Week: Role Models

I watched seven films this week, but picking a favorite wasn’t hard because they were either recent comedies that I didn’t like, or older horror movies that I didn’t like. Role Models stood out as being one that I really enjoyed because of the obvious comedy, as well as the surprisingly endearing nature as well. It’s not the director or writer that makes this movie great- it’s the cast that shines brightest. Put Paul Rudd in anything, and he will be lovable and funny (this is why he is now a superhero!), and he proves that yet again in this film. This fish-out-of-water story is the most common story in comedy as it’s always funny to see somebody where they aren’t accustomed to being, but taking two raunchy men and placing them in a situation where they have to act like mature adults was intriguing to say the least.

As mentioned, this is a story about two man-children (Rudd and Seann William Scott) who have to act like real men, and they have to do this to avoid going to jail since this community service is court-ordered. So, there we have the stakes, and we understand the consequences should they fail; we don’t want them to fail for not only that reason, but because we like and pity the kids whom they are responsible for taking care of. Augie and Ronnie, played by Christopher Mintz-Plasse and Bobb’e J. Thompson, respectively, give likable performances and bring a certain “innocence” and multi-dimensional element to them. The kids are never there just to entertain the audience, but also to change the nature of Rudd and Scott’s characters, which works very well.  It seems like the story moves naturally, and then though it’s an over-the-top comedy with extremely animated sequences, it still feels slightly “real” because of the characters, and their relationship between each other.

To backtrack, I do think how everybody shows up at the end to witness something that will change all of their minds about a certain character(s) is extremely convenient and goofy, and is reminiscent of any other comedy with a bad ending that just lazily ties up all loose strings at the same time, but at the same time, this movie sort of earned that ending because it never boasts realism, and it wears the badge of being funny and fun throughout the film. Elizabeth Banks represents the angel on the shoulder of Rudd’s character’s conscience, and represents the reward of his inner journey to becoming a better person at the end of the film (if that happens). Jane Lynch is sort of the funny police-chief-type character that we see in any buddy cop movie, and this film is sort of a buddy-cop movie in nature. She is definitely animated and over-the-top, but this is done to contrast the other characters, which makes her much more “funny,” if you’re into that kind of comedy. Lastly, the whole Live Action Role Playing element, which allows Rudd’s and Plasse’s characters to connect, and sort of represents the battle of becoming a better person, as if he’s lost in a whole new world, adds a lot to both of their characters. Rudd’s has to defend Plasse from his parents, and has to be the only real adult in his life, and in doing so, he becomes the “hero” of the story.

Overall, this is one of the comedies I enjoy, and I say that because horror and comedy are more miss than hit for me; Paul Rudd can always entertain and this movie, he carries almost completely on his own. With the help of Plasse and Thompson, the three of them make for an endearing and comedic story about growing up (even if you’re already an adult). It’s worth watching if you’ve got some down-time, or come across it on TV, and I’m going to give this film a 6+/10, and a green recommendation! Have you seen this? What did you think? As always, thanks for reading, comment your opinions, and share if you liked this! See ya soon!

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