Sunday 18 January 2009

Review: Role Models

Year: 2009
Director: David Wain
Screenplay: David Wain, Paul Rudd, Ken Marino, Timothy Dowling
Starring: Paul Rudd, Sean William Scott, Christopher Mintz-Plasse, Bobb'e J Thompson, Elizabeth Banks, Jane Lynch

Plot Summary

I read a review that negatively stated that Role Models is disposable entertainment at the most extreme. Now I find that comment a tad silly. I mean I don't know about you but aren't most comedies that sort of throw away fun? The review goes on about one note characters and paper thin plots. But when it comes to comedies, many get away with these issues by just being funny.

The review continues on, lightly insults people that may like the film and comes off as incredibly uptight and stuffy. But hey, that's the subjective aspect of comedy I guess. If you don't find the jokes funny you can then pick apart the rest of the film, despite the fact that most of our classic comedies have wafer thin plot lines and one note characters. Airplane ain't Shakespeare but many people find it fucking funny.

I found Role Models to be extremely funny. Yes the film's narrative and characters are generic but the performances are solid enough to be watchable and the script is on the right side of silly. The film doesn't have outrageous Apatow set pieces that have become common place in mainstream American comedies as of late (Despite the regulars within the cast Apatow has nothing to do with the film) but it still manages to retain much of the sweetness that has made the uber comedy writer/producer/director go to guy.

I can be extremely wary of certain screenplays with more than 3 writers but Rudd and company manage to combine their efforts to bring across a film which, while not in depth, is sympathetic towards niche social groupings and situations that other comedies wouldn't even bother with. With this said the film is kept breezy. Yes the film is throwaway but for a January release I doubt i will find anything as funny. The film has more than enough amusing one liners and facial ticks/mugging to keep the film pace ticking along despite the unoriginal story, which despite being quite "been there, done that" has strong enough narrative to be watchable.

I loved the movie performance-wise. Paul Rudd is hilarious as the cynical Danny, while Sean William Scott hasn't been this funny in ten years. This is maybe because Wheeler is basically an older Stifler. The two have a good chemistry and much of the amusement stems from the comic facial exchanges that they bounce off each other. Looks of distain and bemusement haven't been this funny in a while.

Christopher Mintz-Plasse may find the rest of his career being typecast but at the moment, his Geeky McLovin thing is still funny. Bobb'e J Thompson's foul mouthed display is energetic, cute and well timed. Thompson is the most consistent source of amusement and has all the best lines. To add to this, dressing cute black kids up as Gene Simmons to me may be a thing of genius and I feel sorry for my unborn son already. Jane Lynch is very OTT and for the most part it works, while Elizabeth Bank is underused and feels like she's doing the part as a favour. However Banks is very easy on the eye and is competent enough actress to make sure you don't care too much.

I feel Role Models is a carefree amusing distraction for the January dumping season. Yes maybe I do have an "affinity for bland generic comedies" but with this said I don't go into comedies thinking all of them will be Dr Strangelove.