Tuesday, March 17, 2009

No model for children

My first DVD purchase of 2009 was Role Models, and it was the easiest decision I'd ever made. This movie took a ludicrous storyline and made it believable, funny and just a little heartwarming.

There's something in this movie for everyone: geeks have Augie Farks (Christopher Mintz-Plasse, Superbad), who is involved with live action role playing and joins large battles where the people dress up; troublemakers have Wheeler (Seann William Scott, American Pie) and his smaller version, Ronnie Shields (Bobb'e J. Thompson, The Tracy Morgan Show), with their potty mouths and obsession with the female form; and the bored and disappointed with life have Danny Donahue (Paul Rudd, Knocked Up), with his deadpan delivery and comical facial expressions.

It sounds ridiculous, but the entire plot is based on the premise that Wheeler and Danny got in trouble with the law, but instead of getting jail time, Danny's lawyer girlfriend works a deal so they just have to complete 150 hours of community service at Sturdy Wings, a Big Brother-type program. It's silly, but it works.

Predictably, the adults learn something from the children and the kids grow a little thanks to the men. However, it's the journey there and the characters themselves who make the movie watchable and enjoyable.

The movie would be a dud for me if not for Rudd. His doubletakes, droll humor and facial expressions make Danny the most interesting character. He is the most adult, although he is having trouble being happy and his girlfriend left him as a result.

Role Models was released on DVD on March 10. Some of its special features include alternate and deleted scenes and on the set. Also included are bloopers which show the actors stumbling over lines and improving when they forget or can't say the lines. Once again Paul Rudd shines with his quick wit and self-deprecation.

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