A lot of "Role Models" is plain old tin. Seann William Scott and Paul Rudd play Wheeler and Danny, arrested-development
boy-men who tour L.A.-area schools talking about the evils of drugs while peddling the (fictional) line of Minotaur energy
drinks. After wrecking the company truck, which is designed to look like a raging, caffeine-addled bull, the long arm of
the law assigns the lads to 150 hours of community service, mentoring a couple of troubled youths in a program known as
Sturdy Wings. Jane Lynch plays the program head, and her ability outclasses her material at every turn.
With his long-suffering ex (Elizabeth Bank) out of the picture, Danny's assigned to Augie, nearly out of high school but
unable to leave the cape-wearing, role-playing parts of his life alone for a second. Wheeler's kid is a foul-mouthed
fifth-grader, Ronnie (Bobb'e J. Thompson), being raised by a single mother.
For a dangerously long time "Role Models" tries to get laughs from Scott and Rudd referring to oral sex and pederasty as often as possible in front of their young charges. Rudd is something of a genius when it comes to timing and inflection, but as one of this script's four writers, he's wildly uneven. Director David Wain is another of the four writers, and behind the camera he has fared better ("Wet Hot American Summer") and worse ("The Ten").
Then comes Augie's role-playing battle royal, which tests the mettle and the character of all the principals. Wain shapes the climax very nicely. It's all of a piece in comic terms, and with Rudd and Scott running around dressed as KISS-inspired warriors, the visual gags keep coming. Still, "Role Models" wouldn't be anything without Mintz-Plasse, whose character occasions what may be the cinema's first really funny Marvin Hamlisch joke, and whose camera presence is at once unfailingly modest and distinctive. When Augie finally works up the guts to talk to a female medieval faire-geek, played by Allie Stamler, it's like destiny clonking both of them on the head with a mace.
MPAA rating: R (for crude and sexual content, strong language and nudity).
Running time: 1:39.
Starring: Seann William Scott (Wheeler); Paul Rudd (Danny); Christopher Mintz-Plasse (Augie); Bobb'e J. Thompson (Ronnie); Jane Lynch (Sweeny); Ken Jeong (King Argotron); Elizabeth Banks (Beth).
Directed by David Wain; written by Paul Rudd, Wain, Ken Marino and Timothy Dowling; photographed by Russ. T. Alsobrook; edited by Eric Kissack; music by Craig Wedren; production designed by Stephen Lineweaver; produced by Mary Parent, Scott Stuber and Luke Greenfield. A Universal Pictures release.
Role Models Movie Trailer
About "Role Models" Movie
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 humor mixed with countless sexual conquests-PAUL RUDD (Knocked Up, Forgetting Sarah Marshall) and SEANN WILLIAM SCOTT (American Pie series, Old School) have joined for their first film together: Role Models.
In the latest comedy from director DAVID WAIN (The Ten, Wet Hot American Summer, MTV's The State), Rudd and Scott star as Danny and Wheeler, two salesmen who trash a company truck on an energy drink-fueled bender. Upon their arrest, the court gives them a choice: do hard time 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 of Superbad, upcoming The Year One) through the trials of becoming a man. Unfortunately, the guy just dumped by his girlfriend, Beth (ELIZABETH BANKS of Zack and Miri Make a Porno, The 40-Year-Old Virgin), has only sarcasm to offer a bashful 16-year-old obsessed with medieval role play.
Meanwhile, charming Wheeler tries to trade in an addiction to partying and women to assist a fifth grader named Ronnie (newcomer BOBB'E J. THOMPSON) in redirecting his foul-mouthed ways. It would probably help if Ronnie's new mentor wasn't an overgrown adolescent whose idea of quality time includes keggers in Venice Beach.
Once Sturdy Wings' ex-addict/ex-con director, Sweeny (JANE LYNCH of The 40-Year-Old Virgin, Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby), gives them an ultimatum to shape up, Danny and Wheeler are forced to tailor their brand of immature wisdom to their kids. And if they can just make it through probation without getting thrown in jail, the world's worst role models will prove that, sometimes, it takes a village idiot to raise a child.
Directed from a screenplay by Paul Rudd & David Wain & KEN MARINO (The Ten, Diggers) and TIMOTHY DOWLING (George Lucas in Love, upcoming She's Out of My League), the comedy is from a story by Timothy Dowling and WILLIAM BLAKE HERRON (The Bourne Identity, Ripley Under Ground).
Role Models' creative team is led by producers MARY PARENT (You, Me and Dupree; The Kingdom), SCOTT STUBER (The Break-Up; You, Me and Dupree) and LUKE GREENFIELD (The Girl Next Door, The Animal). Key crew includes editor ERIC KISSACK (The Ten, Birds of America), director of photography RUSS T. ALSOBROOK (Superbad, Forgetting Sarah Marshall), production designer STEPHEN LINEWEAVER (Blades of Glory, Jerry Maguire) and costume designer MOLLY MAGINNIS (The Bucket List, Norbit).
The executive producers for the comedy are DAN KOLSRUD (The Fog, 13 Going on 30), ANDREW Z. DAVIS (Red Dragon, Rush Hour 2), MATT SEIGEL (television's House Broken), WILLIAM SHERAK (Darkness Falls, Little Black Book) and JASON SHUMAN (The Messengers, Little Black Book).
Cast "Role Models" Movie
SEANN WILLIAM SCOTT (Wheeler)
SEANN WILLIAM SCOTT (Wheeler), a native of Cottage Grove, Minnesota, was discovered at a talent competition in Los Angeles and has become one of Hollywood's most prolific actors working today, starring in blockbuster comedies such as Universal Pictures' American Pie trilogy; the feature-film version of the popular '80s television series The Dukes of Hazzard; Road Trip, with Breckin Meyer and Amy Smart; and the comedy smash-hit Dude, Where's My Car?, opposite Ashton Kutcher.
Scott's other film credits include Richard Kelly's Southland Tales, opposite Sarah Michelle Gellar and Dwayne Johnson; Universal's hit action-adventure film The Rundown, opposite Dwayne Johnson; MGM's Bulletproof Monk, with Chow Yun-Fat; New Line Cinema's thriller Final Destination; the DreamWorks sci-fi comedy Evolution, directed by Ivan Reitman and co-starring Julianne Moore, David Duchovny and Orlando Jones; and unforgettable cameos in Miramax's Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back and the hit comedy Old School, opposite Will Ferrell. Scott recently starred in The Promotion, opposite John C. Reilly, and Mr. Woodcock, opposite Billy Bob Thornton and Susan Sarandon. He also lent his voice to the animated film Ice Age 2: The Meltdown and will be the voice of the alien Skiff in the upcoming Planet 51, with Dwayne Johnson and Jessica Biel.
Scott currently is bicoastal, living in both Los Angeles and New York.
PAUL RUDD (Danny/Screenplay by)
PAUL RUDD (Danny/Screenplay by) recently starred in Judd Apatow's Knocked Up, opposite Seth Rogen and Leslie Mann. Knocked Up grossed more than $300 million worldwide and won the People's Choice Award for Favorite Movie Comedy. It was also nominated for a Broadcast Film Critics Association Award for Best Comedy Movie and named one of AFI's top 10 Movies of the Year.
Rudd recently completed production on John Hamburg's I Love You, Man, starring opposite Jason Segel. Rudd plays a newly engaged guy who sets out to find the perfect best man for his wedding. Paramount Pictures plans to release I Love You, Man on March 13, 2009.
Rudd will lend his voice to the upcoming animated feature Monsters vs. Aliens, which co-stars Reese Witherspoon, Hugh Laurie, Seth Rogen, Stephen Colbert, Rainn Wilson and Kiefer Sutherland. Monsters vs. Aliens is scheduled to be released by DreamWorks Animation on March 27, 2009.
Rudd's other film credits include Forgetting Sarah Marshall; The 40-Year-Old Virgin; Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy; The Ten, on which he also served as a producer; Night at the Museum; Diggers; Reno 911!: Miami; The Cider House Rules; The Object of My Affection; Wet Hot American Summer; The Château; Clueless; and William Shakespeare's Romeo + Juliet, among others.
On stage, Rudd starred in Richard Greenberg's Three Days of Rain, opposite Julia Roberts and Bradley Cooper. He also starred in Neil LaBute's Bash in both New York and Los Angeles, as well as LaBute's The Shape of Things in London and New York. After successful runs on both the London and New York stages, Rudd starred in The Shape of Things on the big screen.
Rudd made his West End debut in Robin Phillips' London production of Long Day's Journey Into Night, opposite Jessica Lange. Other stage credits include Nicholas Hytner's production of Twelfth Night at Lincoln Center Theater, with a special performance that aired on PBS' Great Performances, and in Alfred Uhry's Tony Award-winning play, The Last Night of Ballyhoo.
On television, Rudd guest-starred on NBC's Friends for the final two seasons as Phoebe's (Lisa Kudrow) husband, Mike Hannigan, and starred as Nick Carraway in A&E's production of The Great Gatsby.
CHRISTOPHER MINTZ-PLASSE (Augie)
CHRISTOPHER MINTZ-PLASSE (Augie) took his cinematic bow in 2007 in the Greg Mottola-directed comedy Superbad. In that picture, Mintz-Plasse played a nerdy but extremely resourceful young man who procures a lousy fake ID and gains the friendship of two wild cops. Role Models is his second movie.
Mintz-Plasse recently finished shooting Columbia Pictures' The Year One, starring Jack Black and Michael Cera, and lent his voice to DreamWorks Animation's How to Train Your Dragon. He is currently filming the action-comedy Kick-Ass.
JANE LYNCH (Sweeny)
JANE LYNCH (Sweeny) cut her theatrical teeth at The Second City, at the Steppenwolf Theatre Company and in many church basements all over the greater Chicagoland area.
Film credits include the upcoming Julie & Julia, The Post-Grad Survival Guide, Spring Breakdown, Another Cinderella Story and Brownie Masters, as well as the recent films The Rocker and the animated Space Chimps. Past film work includes Christopher Guest's For Your Consideration, A Mighty Wind and Best in Show, as well as Alvin and the Chipmunks, Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story, Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby, The 40-Year-Old Virgin, Margaret Cho's Bam Bam and Celeste, Alan Cumming's Suffering Man's Charity, Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events, Sleepover and Surviving Eden.
Recent television credits include the Lifetime original series Lovespring International, Desperate Housewives and Weeds. Lynch also appears in the current season of The L Word, opposite Cybill Shepherd. She has recurring roles on Boston Legal, Two and a Half Men, Criminal Minds and The New Adventures of Old Christine.
Lynch's play Oh Sister, My Sister! has had runs at the Tamarind Theatre and Bang Theater, garnering the LA Weekly Theater Award for Comedy Ensemble of the Year.
BOBB'E J. THOMPSON (Ronnie)
BOBB'E J. THOMPSON (Ronnie) is the youngest of nine brothers and sisters. At the age of five, Thompson made his stage debut on Showtime at the Apollo, rapping to Lil' Bow Wow's "What's My Name." In 2002, he won the Apollo Theater Talented Tykes competition.
Thompson's television work includes roles on ABC's My Wife and Kids; NBC's The Tracy Morgan Show and Joey; and Growin' Up Different; Disney Channel's That's So Raven; and MTV's Human Giant.
Thompson's film work includes Blood Money, with Busta Rhymes; Miramax's My Baby's Daddy; DreamWorks Animation's Shark Tale; Cellular; Universal Pictures' Idlewild; Warner Bros.' comedy Fred Claus; and the independent film Of Boys and Men.
Thompson was also a featured dancer and rapper in the children's hip-hop dance group JammX.
ELIZABETH BANKS (Beth)
ELIZABETH BANKS (Beth) is one of Hollywood's most sought-after young actresses. This year, Banks has a number of films in various stages of production, including W., Zack and Miri Make a Porno, Meet Dave, The Uninvited and Lovely, Still.
Banks can currently be seen in Oliver Stone's W., in which she portrays First Lady Laura Bush, opposite Josh Brolin (George W. Bush). The impressive cast includes James Cromwell and Thandie Newton. Lionsgate released the film on October 17, 2008.
Banks can also be seen opposite Seth Rogen in Kevin Smith's Zack and Miri Make a Porno. Banks (Miri) and Rogen (Zack) play two broke friends who decide to cure their financial ills by making an X-rated movie. The Weinstein Company distributed the film on October 31, 2008.
In January 2009, Banks will be seen starring in a horror remake, The Uninvited, for Paramount Pictures. The film follows two sisters who return home after living in a mental institution. Banks portrays their cruel stepmother, who is haunted by an interfering ghost. The film is scheduled for release on January 30, 2009.
Banks has also taken on a new role as producer. She already has several films on the slate of her company, Brownstone Productions, which she founded with her husband, Max Handelman.
Banks has completed production on Lovely, Still, an independent film that stars Ellen Burstyn and Martin Landau. The story is a holiday fable about an elderly grocery store owner who discovers love for the first time. Banks plays Ellen Burstyn's daughter in the film, which is the directorial debut of Nicholas Fackler, who also wrote the screenplay.
Banks was last seen starring in 20th Century Fox's Meet Dave, opposite Eddie Murphy. The film is a comedy about a spaceship that takes the form of a human being (Murphy). Banks portrays Dave's roommate, who is also his love interest. She also appeared in the Working Title/Universal romantic comedy Definitely, Maybe, opposite Ryan Reynolds, Abigail Breslin, Rachel Weisz and Isla Fisher.
Brownstone Productions' first film, The Surrogates, a sci-fi feature starring Bruce Willis and directed by Jonathan Mostow (Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines), is currently shooting in Boston. The film is based on the graphic novel of the same name and is being co-produced with Mandeville Films. Banks will produce and star in the Universal Pictures comedy What About Barb?, about a socialite who must allow her crazy cousin to be maid of honor in her wedding so that her rich uncle will pay for the wedding. Universal has acquired the rights to "Too Far From Home," a Chris Jones book about three astronauts who were stranded on the International Space Station. Also on Brownstone's slate is the Universal comedy Pitch Perfect.
In 2007, Banks was seen in the Warner Bros. holiday comedy Fred Claus, opposite Vince Vaughn and Paul Giamatti. To date, the film has grossed more than $70 million. Banks was also seen as journalist Betty Brant in Spider-Man 3. Banks appeared in both of the previous Spider-Man blockbusters in this role, which director Sam Raimi created for her.
In 2006, Banks starred in the Disney blockbuster Invincible, opposite Mark Wahlberg and Greg Kinnear. The film opened No. 1 at the box office.
In 2005, Banks made a memorable turn in The 40-Year-Old Virgin as Beth, a sex-crazed bookstore employee. The same year, she also appeared in The Sisters, an independent film opposite Maria Bello and Eric McCormack. She was also seen in Universal Pictures' critically acclaimed horror-comedy Slither.
In June 2005, Banks was seen starring in the Sony Pictures Classics/Merchant Ivory drama Heights, opposite Glenn Close and James Marsden. Said Ebert and Roeper, "Performances are all excellent, with Banks the real find here. The camera loves her." Also in 2005, Banks appeared in IFC Films' The Baxter.
Banks' additional feature credits include roles in Steven Spielberg's Catch Me If You Can; Daltry Calhoun, starring Johnny Knoxville; Seabiscuit, starring Tobey Maguire; Showtime Independent Films' Sexual Life, which screened at the Los Angeles Film Festival; John Singleton's Shaft, with Samuel L. Jackson; and Wet Hot American Summer, starring Janeane Garofalo and David Hyde Pierce. She has also appeared in several independent features including The Trade and Ordinary Sinner, which won the Best Film Award at the 2002 Slamdance Film Festival in Park City.
Her extensive theater credits include many roles in American Conservatory Theater productions, as well as the Guthrie Theater's production of Summer and Smoke, directed by David Esbjornson. In 2006, Banks played Cherie, the female lead, in William Inge's comedy Bus Stop, as part of the Williamstown Theatre Festival.
On the small screen, Banks has been seen in a recurring role as Dr. Kim Briggs on NBC's Scrubs. Dr. Briggs is J.D.'s (Zach Braff) ex who was also pregnant with his baby. In early 2008, she was seen in the CBS miniseries Comanche Moon, which is Larry McMurtry's popular prequel to Lonesome Dove.
Originally from Massachusetts, Banks received her bachelor's degree from the University of Pennsylvania and her graduate degree at the American Conservatory Theater.