The renewed popularity of the R-rated comedy over the past several years has been marked by performances from two men who play seemingly irredeemable characters you just can’t help but root for. Bringing their complementary comic styles-withering commentary and acid tongue-lashings to meet bawdy humour mixed with countless sexual conquests-Paul Rudd of Knocked Up, Forgetting Sarah Marshall and Seann William Scott of the American Pie series, have joined for their first film together. Role Models. In this latest comedy from director David Wain, the pair costar as Danny and Wheeler, two salesmen who destroy a company truck after an energy drink-fueled bender. Upon their arrest, the court gives them a choice: do hard time in the Big House or spend 150 service hours with a mentorship program called Sturdy Wings. After one day with the kids, however, jail doesn’t look half bad. Surrounded by annoying do-gooders, Danny struggles with his every neurotic impulse to guide Augie (Christopher Mintz-Plasse) through the trials of becoming a man. Unfortunately, having just been dumped by his girlfriend, Beth (Elizabeth Banks), he has only sarcasm to offer a bashful 16-year-old obsessed with medieval role play. Wheeler is little better at trying to trade an addiction to partying and women to assist a fifth grader named Ronnie (Bobby Thompson) in redirecting his foul-mouthed ways.
Despite a plot that plays to a similar audience as the other film this week, Role Models does hold the attention, and the laugh-o-meter, on the strength of its good cast. Scott and Rudd are excellent – especially the latter whose grasp of comedy timing grows with every movie. Add to that Elizabeth Banks – America’s favourite funny girl of the moment, and the assured direction from David Wain, and the end product truly delivers everything it says on the can. Following the likes of Knocked Up, Superbad and The 40-Year Old Virgin, this comedy with a heart rings all the right bells by sticking with a proven formula. Like Sex Drive, it doesn’t try to be anything like high art – just smut with a twist that’s hard to resist.