A comedy that shouldn't be that funny but somehow is, 'Role Models' gets away with bringing nothing new to the table. It's all in the kiddies' smiles and killer one-liners, you see...
Danny Donahue's (Rudd) life is spiralling out of control and he is bringing his mate Wheeler (Scott) down with him, not that he protests too much. Danny has the perfect girlfriend, lawyer Beth (Banks), a nice home and a pretty laid-back, if a little monotonous, job (promoting energy drinks at schools and warning kids against the dangers of drugs). One day, after his girlfriend chucks him for dishing out the most unromantic marriage proposal in history, Danny goes over the edge - causing criminal damage, disturbing the peace, lecturing children on the positive aspects of drug-taking... (you get the picture). And while this little freak-out is only mildly entertaining, what follows adds a bit more flair to the flick.
Danny and Wheeler escape with community service in return for their criminal antics but they are soon left wishing for jail time when they hear the nature of their punishment. The pair must act as 'role models' to young children as part of a buddy-style programme, which pairs 'littles' with 'bigs' in order to teach both of them a lesson. It all sounds a bit lame thus far but as it rolls along this is actually quite entertaining, mostly because young actors Christopher Mintz-Plasse (you'll remember him as McLovin' from 'Superbad') and Bobb'e J Thompson are brilliant as the troubled, misfit teenager Augie and foul-mouthed delinquent child Ronnie.
Somehow kids doing comedy always seems that bit funnier than even the best adults throwing out killer lines. There's something about little ones cursing and mocking that seems endearing no matter how obnoxious the lines and that is definitely the case here. Tiny troublemaker Ronnie will crack you up he's so cheeky, whereas your heart will just break for the socially-awkward Augie, who is completely misunderstood and taken advantage of.
Sure, you will see all the twists a mile off and you'll predict the outcome almost from the off but it's still an enjoyable journey getting there, especially when you throw the former alcoholic team leader Gayle (Lynch) into the mix with her buzzwords and fighting talk.
Rudd's lazy, dry Danny works well with Scott's happy-with-his-lot, couldn't-be-bothered-changing-his-life Wheeler, their differing styles blending better than you would have imagined looking at the cast-list.
Looking for something to counteract the January blues? You could do a lot worse than this one.