Released in 2008, Role Models follows the antics of Wheeler (Seann William Scott) and Danny Donahue played by Paul Rudd. Both men work together for an energy drink called Minotaur and go to local high schools to tell kids why they shouldn’t do drugs and why they should drink Minotaur. Rudd’s character has fallen into a rut and starts to question his life during a fit of depression while Wheeler continues to live a care free party dude lifestyle.
Eventually, Danny reaches his breaking point when his girlfriend (Elizabeth Banks) dumps him and he starts to realize that his life is just not going anywhere. Once he loses it, he takes out his frustrations at one of the high school speaking engagements and runs the company vehicle (a truck in the shape of a minotaur) into the school statue. Once the duo is caught they are given the choice of community service or jail, they opt for the service of course which lands them in an organization similar to Big Brother/Sister working with socially challenged kids.
The writing is your typical faire with a feel good ending, but hey for a film like this that’s what you want anyway. There’s a lot of fun moments along the way, most of the time when the adult characters are interacting with the kids as both kids and adults turn in some good performances. The only thing that got on my nerves was Paul Rudd’s character being a bit too dark and depressing at times. I understand that that’s who is character is, but it’s played up a bit much I thought and just starts to become a downer. If the film was a bit more serious and darker to begin with, I could see this, but given that the film is a bit more light hearted than that, the overly depressed vibe of Rudd’s character seems a bit too much of a contrast given the overall feel of the film.
The directing is ok, average, nothing special or particularly bad with the exception of the guidance given to Paul Rudd’s performance. The performances from the actors overall are good, again pretty average with the exception of Jane Lynch who always adds flair and style to any role she’s given, this film being no exception with her as the hardcore, slightly twisted organizer of the youth group.
Check it out if you happen to catch on the tube or rent the DVD if you’re looking to stock up on your Netflix queue.
reviewed by Sean McKnight