Role Models

Paul Rudd and Sean William Scott show great chemistry and timing in From left: Christopher Mintz-Plasse, Paul Rudd, Seann William Scott and Bobb’e J. Thompson star in
HangZhou Night Net

DESPITE one texter disagreeing with me, Pineapple Express is the first funny film of the year… and here is the second.Role Models is surprisingly hilarious, taking a seemingly lame plot about troubled men being forced to look after troubled youths and turning it into a comedy gold mine.Full credit has to go to Paul Rudd, previously a likeable bit player in Judd Apatow comedies such as Forgetting Sarah Marshall, Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story and Knocked Up. As co-writer and leading man, Rudd shines, and in the oft-annoying Seann William Scott (who will forever be known as Stifler from American Pie), he has a thankfully not-annoying wingman.Rudd and Scott are Danny and Wheeler, who spend their days driving a monster truck to schools spruiking a high-caffeine energy drink that turns your urine green and telling kids to stay off drugs.Unfortunately, Danny is sick of his job and generally sick of his life, so when his lawyer girlfriend (Banks) dumps him, he goes on a rampage in the monster truck, unwittingly landing himself and Wheeler in court.Their punishment is 150 hours with the Sturdy Wings program, which means mentoring troubled youths. Danny lands role-playing nerd Augie (Mintz-Plasse, best known as Superbad’s McLovin), while Wheeler gets bad-ass potty-mouthed 10-year-old Ronnie (Thompson).It seems like the usual story of badly behaved men learning responsibility, like Adam Sandler’s Big Daddy or The Rock’s The Game Plan, except this is actually funny, fun, intelligent and entertaining.Rudd and Scott bounce of each other with great timing and chemistry, and the script (which Rudd co-wrote with director Wain) moves at a cracking pace with few mis-steps along the way.Youngster Thompson nearly steals the show with his cursing and repeated bitch-slapping of Scott, but it’s Mintz-Plasse’s involvement in a live-action sword-and-sorcery role-playing game that provides the meat of the film and its healthy message about doing what makes you happy.Once you throw in some hilarious one-liners, some clever references to rock band Kiss, and a strong supporting cast, you’ve got a good-time comedy that defies its middle-of-the-road plot to become something laugh-out-loud funny.

This article first appeared in Hangzhou Night Net.