Role Models is an, at times, breathtakingly un-PC comedy in which Paul Rudd and Seann William Scott play a pair of unlikely guidance coaches for two kids, namely Christopher “McLovin” Mintz-Plasse and newcomer, Bobb’e J Thompson.
Scott has little range but who cares. He’s does what he does and does it right on the money. If you need someone to play drunk/high/horny/dim, he’s the go-to guy. His carer, Wheeler ticks all of these boxes with great effect. In contrast, the talented Rudd can offer a bit more diversity. But if I’m completely honest he disappoints as the pithy Danny who has pretty much given up on life. What was needed was say, John Cusack giving it full throttle suicidal or Bill Murray at his most misanthropic. Rudd is better suited to upbeat characters. The kids are excellent. Mintz-Plasse, while also proving he doesn’t have a whole lot of range, provides his shtick with workman-like precision. The younger Bobb’e J Thompson is a mini force of nature. Many of the laughs come from him berating his carer with black on white racism and accusations of sexual abuse, and Scott is a brilliant foil for all his torture.
Quibbles aside, it’s a very funny film. I’m amazed at how far some of the jokes go, considering they nearly always involve children. It’s kind of like a more adult version of Uncle Buck. It has its heart in the right place, mocking all the right things (like institutionalised stupidity, for example). In this way it also brings to mind Roald Dahl at his most anarchic. Furthermore, the film manages to provide a feel-good finale without inducing any vomit.