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21st August
written by Steph
Note: unless you are seeing a movie based on a comic book, guys in capes are a bad sign...

Note: unless you are seeing a movie based on a comic book, guys in capes are a bad sign...

We are big Paul Rudd fans here, although I don’t think we really realized this until seeing I Love You, Man earlier this year. Twice. Sure he was always on our radar, shining in flicks like Forgetting Sarah Marshall, Knocked Up, and Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy… Heck, I’ve even liked him a good deal since I was a teen when he played Paris in William Shakespeare’s Romeo + Juliet, and who can forget Clueless? (I haven’t a clue! Ha!) But despite all of these factors, our stance towards Rudd was essentially that his appearance in a movie would be a welcome and happy surprise, but he wasn’t really a motivating force in terms of getting us to actually go see a movie. And then we saw I Love You, Man and got to thinking that Paul Rudd is genuinely a funny dude and maybe we need to watch more of his stuff and should get pro-active about doing so. This is how we came to rent Role Models. There are some people who will tell you that Role Models is a funny movie (mostly my brother, I think), and these people are not entirely wrong, but they are not entirely right either. It’s funny in some places, but compared to most of the movies I’ve listed above (the exception probably being R+J… that’s not really one of the Shakespeare plays known for the laughs), the chuckles are fewer and farther between here. The basic premise is that Paul Rudd and Sean William Scott (Stiffler from the American Pie movies… our first warning this movie would likely be not very good) work for an energy drink company, and this has caused Rudd to become pretty rundown and bitter. His long-term gf gets pretty fed-up with his morose ways, so in a bid to turn things around Rudd proposes to her (after all, nothing solves problems better than not actually addressing your problems head on, but instead vowing to commit yourself and your problems to another person for the rest of your life!). Naturally, she turns him down, which causes him to unhinge and go on a crazy spree that winds up with Rudd & Scott facing jail time. UNLESS they complete a ridiculous number of community service hours mentoring impressionable youth before the month is up! Because again, who better to counsel younguns than people who are court mandated for bad behavior to do so? This is how Rudd winds up being paired with a loner boy who likes to do that creepy live action role play (LARPing) stuff that involves running around public parks in ren fair costumes, and Scott gets paired with an angry black boy with a penchant for swearing and saying racist things (but it’s ok, because he’s tiny and black, so there’s no need to get offended or anything). And of course neither guy wants to be there, but it’s better than prison… and maybe by the end of this whole experience, despite some egregious mess ups along the way, the two guys will wind up learning something about themselves and find their lives and perspectives changed? Maybe they need their young wards as much as said wards need them? Do you think that might be where this movie ends up? Sigh. Perhaps instead of asking whether Role Models is funny, the better question to ask is whether it’s any good. Because as I said, we laughed some times, but largely the jokes weren’t that good, and I spent most of my time feeling second-degree embarrassment for all the characters whenever the LARPing storyline reared its ugly head. Seriously, if I had known the movie would be so devoted to that tangent, I don’t think we would have rented this. I’m sure the people who LARP have what they assume are perfectly reasonable explanations for why grown ups dressing up on their weekends and playing pretend is healthy and not a sign of maladjustment… but come on! It’s super weird! I think we’re better off pretending that kind of stuff doesn’t happen rather than tacitly suggesting it’s an acceptable practice. I just couldn’t get past this… Conclusion: Role Models is appropriately billed as a comedy, albeit a pretty predictable and uninspired one. It is not really a good movie, and the Netflix tags suggesting it is “witty” and “raunchy” are incorrect. There are surely worse comedy movies to watch, but there are also much better ones to spend your time with. I think the takeaway message is not that Paul Rudd is a poor indicator of whether we will like a movie (he did an admirable job with the material he was given), but rather that Christopher Mintz-Plasse is! You see, CMP, who plays the goofy loner boy here also plays McLovin in Superbad, a movie that everyone, including your grandmother (probably), seemed to love EXCEPT FOR ME. I thought it was SO BORING and not at all awesome as I had been promised. Maybe because I am not a teenage boy? Either way, I consider that a fault of the movie and not myself. So yeah, Paul Rudd, I continue to *heart* you, but CMP is squarely in my bad books. [P.S.  Just realized that if you click on the poster image linked to this post, at the very bottom there is a suggestion you should text the word "BOOBIES" to some number to get access to Role Models related stuff.  I highly suggest that you not do that, but do think this is probably funnier than anything that occurred in the movie itself.] Rating: 3 out of 5


  1. Lu

    Aw I kind of liked this one!! (Does that make me a bad person ;)?)

  2. 08/21/2009

    No, definitely not! We didn’t hate this movie, it just isn’t going on our list of favorites is all!

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