Reviewed by: Daniel Thompson
What advice do you have for new and growing Christians? Answer
How do I know what is right from wrong? Answer
How can I decide whether a particular activity—such as smoking, gambling, etc.—is wrong? Answer
Every time you buy a movie ticket or rent a video you are casting a vote telling Hollywood “That’s what I want.” Why does Hollywood continue to promote immoral programming? Are YOU part of the problem?
|Featuring:||Paul Rudd, Seann William Scott, Shane Arenal, Landon Ashworth, Elizabeth Banks, Tajh Bellow, Heather Black, Hunter Brochu, Ryan Cartwright, Tina Casciani, Caleb Matthew Collins, Carly Craig, Kurt Doss, Jenn Gotzon, Nate Hartley, James Henderson, Ken Jeong, Nicole Randall Johnson, Kerri Kenney, Cody Lawrence, Michelle Lenhardt, Joe Lo Truglio, Jane Lynch, Ken Marino, Vincent Martella, A.D. Miles, Taylor Mills, Christopher Mintz-Plasse, Jessica Morris, Joshua L.K. Patterson, Summer Perry, Amanda Righetti, Alexandra Stamler, Bobb'e J. Thompson|
|Producer:||Internationale Filmproduktion Stella-del-Süd, New Regency Pictures, Relativity Media, Stuber/Parent, WideAwake, Luke Greenfield, Dan Kolsrud, Mary Parent, Matthew Seigel, William Sherak, Jason Shuman, Scott Stuber|
“Danny and Wheeler were just sentenced to 150 hours mentoring kids. Worst idea ever. They're about to get more than they plea-bargined for.”
There are a few different genres of movies that have been done so many times you just cringe at the idea of sitting through another one them. One of those genres is the “buddy” movie. Whether it’s action or comedy or a mixture of both, two characters without much in common come together through a series of unforeseen circumstances. These films, popularized by such films like “Stir Crazy”, “Twins”, “48 Hrs.” and “Lethal Weapon”, have long lost their luster and originality. I have to say one of the many surprises I found while viewing “Role Models” was a fresh, funny, vulgar but somehow endearing new take on the “buddy” movie.
The story revolves around two business partners, Wheeler (Seann William Scott) and Danny (Paul Rudd) who travel to local grade schools to hock their new energy drink while also giving a “Say No to Drugs” message. It’s on one of these trips where a depressed and angry Danny has a terrible day and takes his anger out in a scene which I won’t spoil, but needless to say it leads to the arrest of he and his partner.
Instead of jail time, they are sentenced to 150 hours of community service in a program called ‘Sturdy Wings’, a big brother/big sister type of organization. Danny and Wheeler are paired up with Augie Farks (Christopher Mintz-Plasse) and Ronnie Shields (Bobb’e J. Thompson), two kids each with their own personal quirks and characteristics that we find out throughout the film.
With these pairings we get some funny moments highlighted by a carjacking, a camping trip, and an in depth look into the world of medieval role playing games. Although resistant at first, Wheeler and Danny eventually develop meaningful relationships and learn to care about things other than themselves.
The cast in “Role Models” is first rate. Paul Rudd is underrated as a leading man, with great dead pan dialogue. Christopher Mintz-Plasse of “Superbad” fame continues to play the lovable nerd well, and Jane Lynch (“Best in Show”, “A Mighty Wind”) steals every scene she’s in as the head of ‘Sturdy Wings’.
It would be great if that were all I had to report, but unfortunately the filmmakers decided that “Role Models” would appeal to a wider audience with a hard ‘R’ rating. Understanding that a transformation would take place within the leads, I expected some juvenile and inappropriate behavior, and this type of behavior abounds. The language is very strong, especially when you have a ten year old kid that is responsible for a good deal of it. The sexual content is rampant, and there are two cases of nudity that I found unnecessary.
This film is ultimately heartwarming and has some redemptive qualities. While the lead characters continuously act in an inappropriate manner in front of children, they eventually put aside their selfishness to do what’s best for the kids as well as each other. One set of parents realize that it’s okay that their kid is different, and they learn to love him for who he is.
It’s a shame that this movie isn’t at all appropriate for kids or teens, because there’s a message they could really use. Even for discerning Christians, the consistently funny material on display may not be worth the ongoing language and strong sexual content. While “Role Models” definitely injects new life into the “buddy” movie, it does so with irreverent material that may keep the Christian viewer at home.
Violence: Minor / Profanity: Heavy / Sex/Nudity: Extreme
See list of Relevant Issues—questions-and-answers.