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Movie Reviews

Role Models



Released: January 9th 2008

Directed By: David Wain

Starring: Paul Rudd, Seann William Scott

Certificate: 15

Reviewed By: Luke Walkley

In recent years, Hollywood has churned out numerous similar comedies –started by Superbad, Judd Apatow started a trend. This trend has given us films such as Knocked Up, I Love You Man, The 40 Year Old Virgin and the recent hit, Bridesmaids. All these films have some sort of tie, be it the Director, the Cast or the Company behind them. Role Models is no exception – so what makes it any different to the rest of them? Can Role Models set itself apart?

Role Models stars Paul Rudd(Friends, Anchorman) and Sean William-Scott(American Pie) as the friends and work colleagues who, when (Rudd) loses it after breaking up with long time girlfriend Beth (Elizabeth Banks- Scrubs), end up with the choice of 30 days in Jail or 150 Hours of Community Service with ‘Sturdy Wings’- A group set up by Gayle (Jane Lynch) where adults are assigned children to look after. Ogie (Christopher Mintz-Plasse- KickAss, Superbad) is obsessed with the fantasy world of LAIRE, while Ronnie (Bobb’e J.Thompson) is the abrupt troublemaker.

William-Scott has struggled to find a comedic role to equal his performance as Stiffler in American Pie. In his character, Wheeler, he has essentially recreated his former role. While he maintains a comedic persona, the whole over-the-top idea of sexual conquest with as many women as possible, becomes annoying – especially as we have seen it several times before. Paul Rudd plays Danny and he to falls into his comfort zone, as the hard done by guy, whose life is quite going the way he wants it. This is all well and good and as a fan of these style comedies, It’s still enjoyable, however, it would be much more interesting if the pair were to break free of the mould they have cast themselves in. While trying something new might not always pay off, repeating the same characters over and over won’t work forever.

The idea of introducing younger children into the fray, was always going to be the make or break point for Role Models. Mintz-Plasse had already starred in Superbad and was hardly new to the acting game, however the star role lies with Ronnie, the young man, who delivers his role perfectly, coming up with fantastic lines and language that, because it is so wrong coming from such a young person, you can’t help but laugh. Jane Lynch is another fantastic addition, given a bigger role than her outing in The 40 Year old Virgin, she really shines and her scenes are certainly some of the funniest in the whole movie. Elizabeth Banks character, Beth is forgotten about amongst the mayhem of the story, it’s a shame as Banks has started to prove herself as a fantastic comedy actress and she certainly had more to offer in the role.

The focus on the rock group Kiss allows the viewer to enjoy a relatively good soundtrack. It provides some good background music as well as a few nice montage style scenes are worked into the story well.  Though the focus is never on music in these type of films, it’s nice that some consideration was given to what actually works well with the tone of the film.

Role Models is certainly an odd film, laugh out loud on a number of occasions, yet one can’t help but sit there and think ‘I hope they don’t keep making these type films’ It IS a good film, but when we see  so many flooding the market each year they become tedious. On its own Role Models delivers everything a comedy should and therefore it should be commended. Not quite enough to topple Anchorman from its pedestal, but it certainly gives it a go.

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