With a paper-thin plot, Role Models shouldn’t work, but yet it delivers plenty of laughs with just the right amount of heart.
Danny (Paul Rudd) and Wheeler (Seann William Scott) are friends with polar opposites in personality selling drinks marketed as an alternative to illegal drugs out of a Minotaur truck. Wheeler loves his job dressing up as the minotaur mascot while Danny is generally unhappy and angry with the last 10 years of underachieving life and decides to improve it with a quick fix by proposing in the most impulsive and unromantic way.
Predictably, he not only gets rejected, but also gets dumped, sending him into a accelerated downward spiral. He consequently gets both Wheeler and himself into legal trouble for wrecking a school statue with their Minotaur truck.
Danny’s now ex-girlfriend and attorney manages to get them a bargain of either 30 days in jail or 150 service hours in a mentorship programme at Sturdy Wings. The choice was obvious.
But the duo quickly realized they were getting more than what they bargained for. As if the tough-talking, rhetoric spewing no-nonsense founder who takes pride in sharing about her cocaine ridden past wasn’t enough, Wheeler is given charge with Ronnie, (Bobb’e J. Thompson) the profanity spewing and breast-loving pre-teen who is notoriously uncontrollable, (no volunteer at Sturdy Wings have lasted more than a day with him) while Danny’s charge is Augie Farks, (Christopher Mintz-Plasse) a teenage nerd who was enrolled into the programme because his parents thought that his interest in L.A.I.R.E. a live action role-playing game was abnormal.
Hilarity ensues with witty dialogues generously peppered with sexual innuendos and slap-stick sequences.
Strangely, the pairs develop an odd bond. The common, uh, love for the female form weirdly works and has Ronnie looking up to Wheeler’s big brother role. Danny and Augie share the circumstance of being in situations they don’t want to be in. At the same time, Danny learns a thing or two about pursuing one’s own joy and happiness from Augie’s live fantasy universe.
With only a few hours left clear, both Danny and Wheeler messed things up with their charges and jeopardise their only ticket out of jail time. In an effort not to disappoint their charges, Wheeler and Danny work to make things right…
The story finally culminates to a royal rumble equivalent in L.A.I.R.E., a climatic spoof of epic medieval clashes with foam swords that was spectacular as it was hilarious. Every player in the game sportingly plays by the rules and even acts out his most exaggerated death sequences with his best contort facial expressions of pain and anguish.
The movie was surprisingly likable as it somehow manages to balance funny sexual innuendos, slap-stick, a dose of feel good and a welcome absence of seriousness. Role Models isn’t exactly the sophisticated film fit for Oscar nominations, but if you are looking for some mindless fun through coarse language and brief, gratuitous nudity, this is a movie you shouldn’t miss.