Editors' pick

Role Models

Role Models movie poster
MPAA rating: R
Genre: Comedy
Energy drink promoters Danny (Paul Rudd) and Wheeler (Seann William Scott) trash a company truck and must enroll in a community service program to avoid jail time.
Starring: Paul Rudd, Seann William Scott, Elizabeth Banks, Jane Lynch, Christopher Mintz-Plasse
Director: David Wain
Running time: 1:39
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Editorial Review

Not that Danny and Wheeler are dimwit losers, but their job is to tool around Los Angeles peddling an energy drink called Minotaur to school kids, as if it's an anti-drug alternative. Wheeler puts on a hairy "Minotaur Man" costume. They drive a monster truck that snorts fire. Danny, bored with it all and losing his girlfriend, drives the truck into a statue of a horse.

You see what I mean about the loser thing.

Such is the beginning of "Role Models," in which Danny (Paul Rudd) and Wheeler (Seann William Scott) are ordered to complete 150 hours of community service mentoring troubled teens -- or go to jail. Danny hooks up with Augie (Christopher Mintz-Plasse), a stereotypical dweebish white kid who wears a cape and is absorbed in a role-playing "Lord of the Rings"-type game at a local park. Wheeler gets Ronnie (Bobb'e J. Thompson), a stereotypical black kid with a bad attitude and a potty mouth.

Danny must connect with Augie, of course, in order to redeem himself and reclaim his sweetie (Elizabeth Banks, in a role that doesn't let her do much), and Wheeler and Ronnie fill in the subplot.

You can probably figure out how this is all going to end, but it still has more laughs than you might think. Nobody gets more than the wonderful Jane Lynch as the ex-drug addict and director of the mentoring program. It's pretty much a reprise of her role as the scary boss in "The 40-Year-Old Virgin," but she absolutely owns every scene she's in.

-- Neely Tucker (Nov. 7, 2008)

Contains crude and sexual content, strong language and nudity.