Saturday, November 22, 2008
Review: "Role Models" - Grade: B+
“Role Models” is a film I had no interest in seeing when I saw the trailer. I did not think it looked bad, it just looked like there were many other ways I would want to spend an hour and a half. It looked like such a throwaway movie. Something nobody would remember 2 weeks after it comes out. Then the reviews started to come in. They were good; really quite good. I was shocked. Then I remembered David Wain was writing and directing. Then I remembered I hated "The Ten". Then I remembered "The State" and "Stella". Should I give this a try? When the good notices came in I thought maybe I should give this a chance. I won’t go to the theater but I do want to eventually see it. Then I found a copy of it online. Was it a good copy? Yes I was very satisfied with it and this is the story of how I came to see “Role Models”.
“Role Models” surprised me. I don’t actually think I have anything bad to say about it. It is one of those movies that really go beyond the expectations that come with it. The plot is familiar, completely conventional and clichéd as well as predictable. Besides all of that, the film manages to work on a refreshing high quality level for what it is trying to be. “Role Models” manages to be refreshing through a plot and concept that on the surface seems the very opposite of refreshing. Despite all of this I found myself laughing consistently throughout the film and actually not wanting it to end.
The writing for the film is spot on with David Wain getting help from Paul Rudd among others. The cast is what makes this film. Paul Rudd is someone who I will never tire of. I think he contains an endless amount of funny within him. We have seen him play character similar to Danny before. He’s pessimistic, cynical and hates everything. He does this so well though and his hokey character transformation seems pretty genuine within the constructs of the movie.
Seann William Scott is someone who I normally do not enjoy in movies. It’s nothing against the guy personally (in real life all I hear is how genuinely kind and full of life he is; and he’s extremely smart) but as an actor I’ve never enjoyed the types of roles he takes. I find that Stifler is the embodiment of guys I hate and I find it frightening that so many guys worship this character. So he was another reason I was not keen on seeing this. Although he plays the same type of character (sex-crazed life lover) Wheeler is actually relatively different in that he is a decent human being and not made up of various parts of obnoxious. I did not find the parts with him to slag at all. I actually enjoyed him in this and am happy to see him have something successful again.
The two kids in the movie were just as important to the film and just as enjoyable. Christopher Mintz-Plasse fits right in and proves he can do something besides McLovin. I don't think he has a huge career ahead of him only because I do not think there are many options for a guy like him to move around in within the different types of characters but I do think he'll be around for a little while. He is so good in this. Bobb’e J. Thompson as the other kid is downright hilarious at parts. Jane Lynch is a goddess of comedy as she manages to steal every single scene she is in; literally every one.
I still have a lot to learn about how to specifically pick out what it good and bad about a movie so I do not really know what to say about the movie. The pacing was pitch-perfect. I was never bored, everything moved along perfectly. It is one of those movies where you wish you could go back and remember all of the funny parts because there were so many of them. This is a movie I want to watch again when it comes out on DVD and possibly own. “Role Models” is not an important film by any means; but it is damn entertaining and an extremely refreshing and very very very funny surprise.
P.S – I liked it more than “Zack and Miri Make a Porno”. And I actually subjectively like it more than “The Dark Knight”. This is blasphemous I know. “The Dark Knight” is obviously a better film, it is my number 3 for greatest of the year. But it is my number 9 for favorites. But if I had to pick which one I just plain liked more, it would be this one. Sorry everyone.