Crassness offends me. Unless it’s hilarious. Which allows me to excuse David Wain’s Role Models, because this movie is hilarious. You’d think Judd Apatow was the driving force behind this irreverently funny movie, but he’s not. I’d like to give most of the credit to Wain who directed, and co-wrote the script with Paul Rudd, Ken Marino and Timothy Downing.
The spoiler-ific trailer gives most of the plot away. Two BFFs (a respectably bromance), Wheeler (Sean William Scott) and Danny (Paul Rudd), are stuck in a dead end job pimping energy drink ‘Minotaur’ to high school-ers. Wheeler is the happy-go-lucky funny guy that gets more tail than James Bond, and Danny is the cynical, anti-social, quasi-loner who really needs human affection. They get into a little bit of trouble with the law and with a little assistance from Danny’s newly ex-ed lawyer girlfriend (the ubiquitous Elizabeth Banks), are only sentenced to 150 hours of community service with a Big Brother-like program called Sturdy Wings. Sturdy Wings was founded by Gayle Sweeney (played by Jane Lynch who hits all the right notes), a former drug-addicted, alcoholic whore. Danny and Wheeler are stuck with two of hardest, most maladjusted kids, Auggie and Ronnie (played by Christopher Mintz-Plasse and Bobb’e J. Thompson-no that’s not a typo).
David Wain is a triple threat, having large amounts of experience in acting, writing and directing in shows like Reno 911 and Mad TV. His direction clearly made this movie the success that it is, but equally important are the pitch perfect performances by the two leads. Rudd couldn’t have done any better in his role. His comedic timing is almost perfect. And despite Scott’s character being mostly a continuation of his Stiffler role in the American Pie movies, he’ll make you laugh. A lot. The movie only took a few unfortunate missteps. For one, little kids swearing is funny, but not that funny, they certainly beat that dead horse to death (hearing 8 year-olds discuss oral sex is a stretch even for the most tastefully handled scenes). And two, the perfect happy ending was a little forced. Well, a lot forced. Not that the climax didn’t make me laugh out loud, it just could have been more than it was. Despite these complaints, I loved the movie. It’s great if you can get past the potty and sex humor. And I’d encourage you to try to.