Role Models

Sometimes a shamelessly stoopid, proudly profane R-rated comedy is all you want out of life. Role Models more than fills the bill. It's killer funny. Cheers to Paul Rudd — he should be a star by now — who takes just the right wry comic tone as Danny, an L.A. misanthrope flushing his life down the shitter. Danny and his sex-crazed partner, Wheeler (Seann William Scott, the immortal Stifler), earn cash by selling Minotaur energy drinks. Wheeler wears the hairy costume. Danny drives the monster truck, until self-loathing prods him to use the vehicle as a WMD. The result is a jail sentence that Danny's lawyer love (the underused Elizabeth Banks) gets reduced to 150 hours of community service, but not before dumping him.

And so sit meets com, as our boys are enlisted by Sturdy Wings, a mentoring program run by a psychotic ex-junkie (Jane Lynch, a god of inspired lunacy). Wheeler is assigned to Ronnie (Bobb'e J. Thompson), a 10-year-old black kid who immediately accuses the big guy of fondling his balls. Danny gets Augie (Christopher Mintz-Plasse, the immortal McLovin), a nerd obsessed with playing medieval-knight games.

Director/co-writer David Wain, beloved by cultists for Wet Hot American Summer and TV's The State, hits the mainstream without too much damage to his subversive instincts, until the do-gooder climax causes audience sugar shock. It's a small price to pay for such ripe, rowdy fun.

From The Archives Issue 125: January 4, 1973