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Role Models 

Lazy movies still get laughs once and a while.

The reason Role Models is unfulfilling is that it's sometimes good. Enough of it is better than it needed to be, that it's disappointing that the rest of it plays as expected. But give points where due, because it's half well-written enough to bring the scenario somewhere imaginative. Wheeler (Seann William Scott) and Danny (Paul Rudd) are working dead-end jobs as spokesmen for energy drink Minotaur, when Danny gets dumped by his girlfriend, loses his mind and gets both men stuck in community service. The job is to be Big Brothers to troubled kids. Wheeler is assigned Ronnie (Bobb'e J. Thompson), a sociopathic, foul-mouthed inner-city 10 year old. Danny is partnered with Augie (Christopher Mintz-Plasse), a teen obsessed with playing in a costume-based fantasy world. Instead of having the youth succumb to their guardians' lifestyles, Role Models hits a sharp idea. Danny and Wheeler find that their delayed adolescence is also looked down upon. This moves past simply celebrating the status quo or outsiderhood for the connective premise that Danny, Wheeler, Ronnie and Augie, in their very different ways, aren't fit for the world. It's unfortunate the movie runs out of steam after its first hour. Director David Wain and his co-writers find no way to end it except with a comedic variation of an action-movie showdown with Augie's role-playing friends. Every class clown knows that big laughs don't happen when you get lazy.

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Vol 26, No 21
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