"Role Models." - Movie Review.

By Bob Zerull

4 1/2 Stars:

When I was a kid in school, there was this program called Big Brothers Big Sisters. It was so successful, it’s still around today. Not that I’m fairly old or anything, but still. The idea behind it is great. Kids hang out with mentors to learn about life, career, etc. My big brother’s name was Frank Johnson. I learned a great deal from him. One day, he disappeared. I thought it was something I did, but I later found out via news specials and newspapers that Frank Johnson’s real name was Brad Johannson. He was a career criminal. Funny that we never went over THAT career. But his stint in the program was court ordered. How fun for me. So when I saw the trailer to the movie, “Role Models” I thought, “Frank Johnson?”

“Role Models” stars Paul Rudd as Danny Donahue an energy drink representative who travels around to schools promoting their drink while keeping kids off drugs. Rudd was great in “Anchorman,” but it wasn’t until “The 40 Year Old Virgin” that I realized how funny this guy was. In the movie, Rudd’s partner goes by the name Wheeler, played by Sean William Scott (of “American Pie” fame). Wheeler plays the mascot which is a Minotaur (named after the energy drink). Wheeler is an immature dumbass who likes to party everyday while Rudd’s Danny only likes to party part of everyday.

After Danny’s girlfriend (played by the always reliable Elizabeth Banks) breaks up with him (due to the fact that he is dickish), he snaps on stage which ultimately leads to their arrest. They are facing 30 days in jail, or 120 hours community service. The community service is similar to a Big Brother program. Danny and Wheeler are each assigned a kid.

Danny gets Augie (played by Christopher Mintz-Plasse – “McLovin”) a teenager obsessed with L.A.I.R.E (which in real life is referred to as L.A.R.P or Live Action Role Playing) which is kind of like Dungeons and Dragons. Mintz-Plasse proved there may be more to his movie career beyond McLovin. Don’t get me wrong, he will always be known as McLovin but the kid is funny and can act.

Wheeler gets assigned to Ronnie, a foul mouthed 10 year old. Ronnie is played by Bobb’e J. Thompson, a real up and comer. He holds his own with Rudd, Scott and McLovin. In many ways Thompson steals the show. His character Ronnie created a comic book character for himself known as “The Booby Watcher.” He delivers his lines so perfectly you’d think Samuel L. Jackson was delivering them. I hope to see this kid around for years to come.

Rudd was one of the writers of “Role Models.” After seeing this movie, I have to assume that the original script was written to be PG-13. The premise is simple, a couple guys sign up in a Big Brother-esque program to avoid jail time. They don’t want to be there, but they learn to really like the kids, their selfishness puts a dent in their friendship, but it all leads to a sappy, happy ending. That part hasn’t really changed. The part that has changed is that this went from PG-13 to a hard R. That sappy, happy ending ends up being genius here. I’m not even going to attempt to give it away, because I didn’t see it coming until it happened and it made it all the more funnier.

Similar to a “Knocked UP” or “Forgetting Sarah Marshall,” this is essentially a chick flick for guys. If you’re a fan of Sean William Scott, Paul Rudd or really any of the Judd Apatow films (Apatow was not associated with ”Role Models”) then you’ll enjoy “Role Models.”


Bob Zerull is a frequent movie and concert goer who talks about his ventures to arenas and theaters more than any person should be allowed to do. Now, he puts them down on paper. Email him your thoughts at: bzerull19@gmail.com. Also visit: www.cadaverchristmas.com.

Share |


Anonymous said...

I think this reviewer has a man crush on Paul Rudd.


'Like' Us on Facebook:

Zoiks Online on Facebook

Kevin Smith Pimps Zoiks!: