The StoryWheeler (Scott) and Danny (Rudd) work for Minotaur Energy Drinks and travel from school to school in a souped-up truck trying to persuade teens to gulp Minotaur and stay off of drugs. Even hidden beneath a humongous Minotaur costume, you can tell Wheeler loves this job. But Danny…he's a different sort of beast. Danny's definitely not into spending the rest of his life peddling Minotaur to students as an alternative to illegal drugs, and he's depressed over the prospect that that's where he's heading if he doesn't make a job change.
Although it wasn't Wheeler's doing, he and Danny are both sentenced to community service with the Sturdy Wings mentorship program run by an ex-addict who thinks her bullsh-t meter is infallible. Wheeler winds up paired with a foul-mouthed kid named Ronnie (Bobb'e J Thompson) whose ability to edit himself is as dysfunctional as Wheeler's. Danny gets to mentor Augie (Christopher Mintz-Plasse), a live-action role-playing geek who dresses like a waiter at Medieval Times.
At first no one wants anything to do with their partner. But as Wheeler and Danny evolve from being forced into volunteering into actually connecting with the kids they've been assigned, they begin to really care about helping out their young Sturdy Wings partners.
The CastThe unlikely pairing of Seann William Scott and Paul Rudd pays off big time. Rudd's delivery is mellow while Scott's Wheeler behaves more like a guy who's tasted one too many of the products he sells. They balance each other out, and both get their fair share of laughs.
The leads are great and the supporting cast is just as strong. Jane Lynch is super as the ex-druggie who's totally devoted to her Sturdy Wings kids. Mintz-Plasse plays geek well (his McLovin was the best part of Superbad), although he needs to step away from this type of character for his next role just to prove he's not a one-note guy. Youngster Thompson's a real firecracker in the part of a fatherless boy who hides his feelings behind four-letter words. Ken Leong (Knocked Up) is totally convincing as King Argotron, ruler of the live-action role-playing world who takes his royal role way too seriously. And the rock band KISS steals a pivotal scene – and the group's not even in the film.
The Bottom LineThere's nothing real surprising about the plot of Role Models. Two men are taught important life lessons when forced to think about someone besides themselves. It's not groundbreaking material we're dealing with here. What it is is a talented cast hitting all the right marks, working off a script with some great one-liners mixed with enough touching moments to add a real emotional punch to the story. And, it's just plain cute... I can't help but keep coming back to that word.
Role Models was directed by David Wain and is rated R for crude and sexual content, strong language and nudity.
Theatrical Release Date: November 7, 2008