Role Models Review

23 11 2009

Yes, it may have come out last year, but I’m going to review it anyway. And it’s going to be a short review.

 Role Models tells the story of two friends, Danny and Wheeler, who publicize the Minotaur energy drink to school-aged children for a living. Wheeler enjoys the job but Danny is unhappy with his life, especially after his girlfriend Beth ends their relationship.

After presenting Minotaur to a high school, Danny and Wheeler find the company car being towed. They protest, steal the car back and crash it into a statue in the school courtyard. They are sentenced to a month each in prison but Beth, an attorney, strikes a deal with the judge; Danny and Wheeler have to log 150 hours of community service to avoid prison. The judge selects a big-brother community service program called Sturdy Wings and the pair are assigned buddies who they have to spend time with. Danny is paired with Augie Farks, an antisocial teenager who spends his life at a live action role-playing game called LAIRE. Wheeler is paired with Ronnie Shields, a smart-talking foul-mouthed boy obsessed with breasts – at age nine.

The movie is hands-down one of the funniest I have ever seen. All the characters in the film are funny in their own way and quite unforgettable. Jane Lynch plays Gayle Sweeney, who runs the Sturdy Wings program and instantly bares a dislike towards both Danny and Wheeler. Her past life was that of a coke addict spiralling out of control, and she has a constant resentment to her past self but is glad she has learned from her mistakes. There is a whole host of great one-liners. The script is endlessly hilarious and will leave you in stitches. The pure crassness of the movie is its true highlight. There are, of course, plenty of great lines that don’t use offensive language:

Danny: Can I get a large black coffee?
Barista: A what?
Danny: Large black coffee.
Barista: Do you mean a venti?
Danny: No, I mean a large.
Barista: Venti is large.
Danny: No, venti is twenty. Large is large. In fact, tall is large and grande is Spanish for large. Venti is the only one that doesn’t mean large. It’s also the only one that’s Italian. Congratulations, you’re stupid in three languages.
Barista: A venti is a large coffee.
Danny: Really? Says who? Fellini? Do you accept lira or is it all euros now?

Though the film is still quite funny, the plot is a bit strange. There are many odd scenes involving Danny and Augie, and the trouble Danny seems to bring about at LAIRE, such as his disrespect for the apparent “king” – a wiry, Asian-American man – which leads to him being kicked out of the LAIRE. The film’s climax is a “battle of the century” at LAIRE involving all of the main characters. The consistent sexual innuendo is also very strange, but makes the film just that bit more hilarious. There’s frequent referencing to American rock band KISS; Wheeler befriends Ronnie finally after Wheeler shows him some KISS records. Ronnie begins to like KISS because of their sexually explicit lyrics – bear in mind that Ronnie is only ten.

You’d have to be quite mature to see this movie; there’s a lot of sexual innuendo, crass humour, coarse language, drug references and whatever else. While it might sound tasteless and inappropriate, Role Models is certainly a funny movie and delivers in a big way. Get it on DVD and prepare to laugh yourself silly for an hour and a half.

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