Role Models (2008)

(On TV, February 2015) It’s obvious that Role Models doesn’t try to do anything new; beyond the surface of a crude comedy in which irresponsible men get to mentor impressionable teenagers, much of the film is bog-down standard Hollywood sweetness and conventional values in rude gift-wrapping.  (As with most movies in that mold, the irreverent first act gradually leads to a far more sentimental conclusion.)  At least the film doesn’t err in featuring Paul Rudd and Seann William Scott in roles well-suited to their comic personas and letting them play off each other.  Jane Lynch and Ken Jeong have smaller but striking roles.  Much of the film’s interest is in the small set-pieces, or the unusual emphasis on Live-Action Role-Playing (LARP) as a sub-setting.  There’s not a whole lot more to say about the film because it’s so familiar: Playing with genre formula to the hilt, Role Models at least has the advantage of executing said formula competently, with enough laughs on the way to a satisfyingly conventional conclusion.  It’s watchable enough.

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