Friday, October 3, 2008

Review: Role Models

Last night I had the oppurtunity to catch an advance screening of Role Models with Paul Rudd, Sean Williams Scott, Christopher Mintz-Plasse, Bobb'e J. Thompson, and Elizabeth Banks. I went into the movie with low expectations, and my first surprize was seeing Paul Rudd's name included in the writing credits. It seems every actor from Apatow clan secretly doubles as a screenwriter, most of which are pretty darn good.

The first act of the film lagged a little bit for me, although I see that it has a lot of purpose. In retrospect I think they were just trying a little to hard to set up themes for the movie. We see Rudd's character is happy and doesn't want to sing Kareoke with his girlfriend... Then by the end he's singing her a song in front of everyone. I get it, he has a character arc. I actually like that they took time to set up some of the jokes in the beginning, but like I said it wasn't exactly organic. The whole premise of the energy drink was a little weak for me too. Plus, how am I supposed to believe that these dudes were not fired on the spot for freaking out in front of an entire school and then driving the company car onto a statue? But apparently, as long as they aren't sentenced to jail time they can keep there jobs. The Manditore energy drink company is incredibly under developed. It's just a place you can work forever doing nothing with hot girls and stoner friends and get paid for it.

Sean Williams Scott, Sometimes I love him, usually he doesn't do anything for me. He just epitomizes that whole late 90's early 00's (?) teen flick dude in such a way that it seems he has never really broken away from it. And when he does it's usually with pretty mediocre results. I didn't hate his character in The Promotion, nor did I think he did an exceptional job. To me he could have been recast by any other 20 something actor and I would not have noticed. In this film, while he does not make a huge leap from the Stiffler character, it's enough of a balance between lovable idoit and horney frat boy to where the lovable part wins out. I understand his casting in this, and overall it was one of the better roles I've seen him in. But seriously, he was awesome in Evolution.

The second act is when the film really takes off, mostly because this is where we meet Rudd and Scott's "Littles," Mclovin and Thompson (who are the real stars of this movie). First Thompson was the ridiculous ofensive, vulgar child and it worked well for once. The kid was funny. Even though the "tough kid exterior with vulnerable interior" plot was a little thin, the kids obsession with boobs was a good gag.

Mintz-Plasse's first major role since Mclovin to me was probably the biggest draw to this film. He has already been type-casted as the awkward nerdy kid, and this film does absolutely nothing but further that image. The real question I had was, would it still be funny? Thank God, it is. The best jokes from the film were centered around Mclovin's character in the midevil role-playing world he is obsessed with. He plays a much more innocent character in this one which I also liked. That may be the only real change in characters from this and Superbad. I really don't want to give away any of the best jokes, but I will confirm that there are plenty that land well.

As for the ending, it was pretty cliche. It worked, but it was deffinately a feel-good ending. The fulfillment of the best gag also happens there. I was thoroughly impressed with it.

Over-all I'd go ahead and give it a B+. Another film populated with apatow regulars that delivers the goods. Much better than Drillbit Taylor, not quite on par with Forgetting Sarah Marshall, it falls somewhere in between.



Role Models said...

Role Models is one of the few winter comedies that I’ve been hearing good things about, and rightfully so.