More in-depth film festival coverage than any other website!
Home Reviews  Articles  Release Dates Coming Soon  DVD  Top 20s Criticwatch  Search
Public Forums  Festival Coverage  Contests About 

Overall Rating

Awesome: 6.82%
Worth A Look56.82%
Average: 27.27%
Pretty Bad: 6.82%
Total Crap: 2.27%

5 reviews, 14 user ratings

Latest Reviews

Luxor by Peter Sobczynski

Wander by Peter Sobczynski

Love, Weddings & Other Disasters by Peter Sobczynski

Black Bear by Peter Sobczynski

Poison Rose, The by Jack Sommersby

Ma Rainey's Black Bottom by Jay Seaver

Fat Man and Little Boy by Jack Sommersby

Harry & Son by Jack Sommersby

Shattered by Jack Sommersby

Deathstalker II by Jack Sommersby

subscribe to this feed

Role Models
[] Buy posters from this movie
by brianorndorf

"The mighty power of KISS saves another comedy"
4 stars

“Role Models” is not a product that needs much effort to be funny. Not only does the comedy troupe “The State” more or less reunite here, but there’s Paul Rudd, the world of LARP, and Mc Lovin’ also stealing screentime. Coming dangerously close to self-parody at times, “Role Models” remains a light but heartily funny diversion, best served with a raucous audience who appreciate a masterful KISS joke when they see one.

As a spokesman for a rancid energy drink, Danny (Paul Rudd) is feeling defeated by life. Recently dumped by his longtime girlfriend (Elizabeth Banks) and faced with the one-dimensional yammering of partner Wheeler (Seann William Scott), Danny lashes out violently, leaving the two men with an option: jail time or act as big brothers to a child in need. Reluctantly opting for the latter, Danny and Wheeler are teamed up with two special people: foul-mouthed kid Ronnie (Bobb’e J Thompson) and teenaged sword and sorcery role-playing fanatic Augie (Christopher Mintz-Plasse, “Superbad”). Forced into the mentoring game, Danny and Wheeler initially reject the companionship, but as the weeks pass and the challenges mount, the men grow to like their charges, soon investing fully in their lives.

It’s refreshing to witness director David Wain (“Wet Hot American Summer”) endeavor to make a silly comedy with oddball touches. “Role Models” is a fairly straightforward bit of humor, sweeping up bits of Peter Pan syndrome, raunchy one-liners, and acidic irony to supplement the formulaic screenplay (credited to four people, including Rudd). “Models” isn’t surprising, but it’s filled with substantial pockets of laughter, most emerging from Wain’s sense of playfulness and desire to reach for an alternating routine of the broad and the obscure in the humor department.

A majority of “Models” is simply predicated on the reactions of Rudd and Scott as they stumble into the headspace of their troubled kids. Both actors are terrific fun in their roles, playing up the discomfort with generous timing, especially Rudd, who’s handed a gem in Augie: a knight in a live-action, role-playing dynasty that opens the film up to numerous depictions of nerdly enthusiasm and overdramatic adults playing make believe. Wain actually reserves plenty of screentime for the LARP sequences, including a sublime ending where all the frustrations of our characters are sorted out on the battlefield of absurdity.

Cast well (Jane Lynch kills as the big brother program honcho) and infused with enough sardonic pluck to pick up steam after a lukewarm opening act, “Role Models” hits a rough patch during the midsection, where Wain succumbs to screenwriting 101 templates to push his film to the finish line. This movie isn’t going to touch any hearts, so it baffles me why Wain would even try his hand at sentimentality as Wheeler and Danny are separated from the boys due to ineffective supervision. It’s a wet blanket on the film the very moment it starts to hum pleasingly. The intent is to create an underdog situation for the picture, but it succeeds more in killing the laughs.

With numerous KISS references (Wheeler and Ronnie’s bonding point), ludicrously potty-mouthed children, and the cast giving the material a nice bite when it needs it the most, “Role Models” turns out to be a film of select bellylaughs and constant smiles. It’s not quite a barnstormer, but it has a wealth of small charms, and Wain works them all over with his special brand of absurdity.

link directly to this review at
originally posted: 11/08/08 08:57:41
[printer] printer-friendly format  
OFFICIAL SELECTION: Fantastic Fest 2008 For more in the Fantastic Fest 2008 series, click here.

User Comments

5/26/09 peter not very funny. just about mclovin's fantasy world. dumb 2 stars
4/25/09 Monday Morning This movie sucks. Badly. 2 stars
3/18/09 ES So many laughs plus a respectable salute to both LARP and hills shaped like breasts 4 stars
3/14/09 action movie fan bobb,e thomson was very good but the rest were mediocre-film not that funny 2 stars
12/25/08 Justin I usually hate Stiffler but I thought he was good in this one. 4 stars
12/21/08 Bailey Excellent job on the casting. Good laughs all the way through - finale was awesome. 4 stars
11/24/08 George Barksdale Haven't had a good laugh at a movie in a long time, very funny 4 stars
11/20/08 Colleen H I was sobbing from laughter. Juvenile, but screaming funny. 5 stars
11/12/08 Koitus Harsh language through-out; but very funny. A few "classic" scenes (stinky-pinky for one)! 4 stars
11/10/08 Susan funny movie if only for paul rudd. seann william scott isn't as funny with his usual schtic 4 stars
11/10/08 Samantha Pruitt REALLY funny, had me laughing through the whole movie, Ronnie and McLovin are hilarious!!! 5 stars
11/10/08 stephen goodridge mclovin was awesome 5 stars
11/09/08 Brian Mckay Predictable, yet Fucking Hilarious. 4 stars
Note: Duplicate, 'planted,' or other obviously improper comments
will be deleted at our discretion. So don't bother posting 'em. Thanks!
Your Name:
Your Comments:
Your Location: (state/province/country)
Your Rating:

Discuss this movie in our forum

  07-Nov-2008 (R)
  DVD: 10-Mar-2009


  DVD: 10-Mar-2009

[trailer] Trailer

Home Reviews  Articles  Release Dates Coming Soon  DVD  Top 20s Criticwatch  Search
Public Forums  Festival Coverage  Contests About Australia's Largest Movie Review Database.
Privacy Policy | HBS Inc. | |   

All data and site design copyright 1997-2017, HBS Entertainment, Inc.
Search for
reviews features movie title writer/director/cast