Role Models (Movie Review)

Disregarding this italicized line, the review is exactly (and completely unintentionally) 600 words long. As usual, comments and criticism are welcome.

To be a successful comedy in this day and age requires a few key things. First, there's the obligatory romantic drama that has to resolve if it's a central aspect of the film from minute one, or magically develops and resolves itself because these clichés have to be crow-barred in somewhere. Next, there's the minor character (or group of minor characters) whose sole existence in life is to play comic foil until the plot demands they magically say or do something profoundly resonant within the confines of the closing act. Also, every character has to learn something before the credits roll, which usually entails a generic moral such as "I'm willing to compromise for the sake of our bastard love" or "titties are only small aspect of life (and your torso )" or some other twisting of epicurean philosophy for the illusion of happiness and closure. And finally, the comedy must have "heart"... whatever that means.

If "Role Models" were an occupation, it would be a clown who knows his job all too well and has frankly become rather bored with his place in the universe. It's a master of predictable romantic drama, comic timing and morals, but it succeeds without even trying so while it feels a tad derivative, you'll never be chastised for saying so. The common criticism sure to emerge is that the affair seems "heartless," but like I said earlier, what the hell does that even mean? Do you really believe that the movie isn't functional because they threw it out before it had time to don a coat of cocaine gloss that makes everything seem sentimental all of a sudden? While I'll admit you can't objectively measure the multitude of adjectives people often use to describe films (yet), "heart" is the most obscure concoction yet.

"Role Models" tells the story of two men who work in the marketing department of an energy drink company. While on the job, one of the two picks a particularly bad time for an existential crisis and ends up committing a few traffic crimes that result in them having to serve 150 hours of community service as big brothers for the socially damaged. The misanthrope (Paul Rudd) gets paired with a colossal nerd (McLov... sorry... Christopher Mintz-Plasse) and the man child (Seann William Scott) gets paired with an aggressively foulmouthed ten year old (Bobb'e J Thompson).

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A nerd, a misanthrope, a man-child, and a foul mouthed black kid. How can you not get laughs out of these characters?

Not exactly the most unique idea for a comedy, but the relationships are so disparate, volatile, and [most importantly] plausible, that it's virtually impossible for anyone to not squeeze some excellent jokes out of the premise. Astonishingly, the film is also well paced with an ideal run time, so while it could rightly be perceived as merely mimicking tried and true formulas, the results are all but scientifically guaranteed to work.

Although this is the rare occasion where being a bit insipid plays to the overall strength of the final product, it doesn't change the fact that it's insipid. I'm not going to say something stupid like "'Role Models' doesn't have the heart to be the sort of endearing comedy..." because that would mean I buy into that sort of crap. While character depth and development often make a movie that can stand up to the scrutiny of multiple viewings, sometimes all you want is a quick no strings attached dalliance, and Role Models fits the bill quite nicely. It'll hardly be worth a second watch and there's no point in buying the DVD, but when it comes to harmless temporary novelties in the maelstrom of dramatic Oscar bait, you could do a lot worse.

I needed a thesaurus to read this review, but from what i understand from every 6th word is that it was worth a watch once. All i needed to know, thank you sir!

Mclovin'!

That is all.

No that's not fair, I'll say something else

Quite frankly sir I am opposed to the use of exactly 600 words in this review. I ask (nay, demand) that you add a word or two on to the end so that it is no longer such a beacon of rigid pomposity.

Is this movie in the cinemas at the moment or is it out on DVD now? I don't pay much attention to these things so I generally miss out on all the theatrical stuff that isn't about batman or James Bond.

I would think by looking at it that you know what you are doing in the way of writing, grammar and all that, so I don't really have anything (asides from the wretched 600 words thing) to say regarding the way the review was written.

Well done, I stuck around to read the whole thing, that's saying something.

I'll try to loosen up a bit when I review Quantum of Solace tomorrow (I promise!)

The Iron Ninja:
Is this movie in the cinemas at the moment or is it out on DVD now? I don't pay much attention to these things so I generally miss out on all the theatrical stuff that isn't about batman or James Bond.

It's out in theaters now. It was released Friday November 7th, so it'll probably be around for a few weeks, maybe a month.

So you say that it's worth watching, but is it worth watching in theaters, or should people just wait for it to come out on DVD?

Damien the Pigeon:
So you say that it's worth watching, but is it worth watching in theaters, or should people just wait for it to come out on DVD?

Theaters would be the ideal place. I reserve DVDs for movies I watch repeatedly, and Role Models isn't one of them (although it's certainly great fun for what it is).

 

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