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Role Models DVD on Best Behavior

Caitlin Ferraro | Thursday, March 19, 2009

“Role Models” showcases the comedic talents of relative newcomers Christopher Mintz-Plasse (also known as McLovin’) as Augie and the outrageous Bobb’e J. Thompson as Ronnie, while simultaneously reminding us that Sean William Scott can play more than just Stifler (“American Pie”). Scott’s womanizing, hard-partying character Wheeler is suspiciously similar. The film also stars Paul Rudd as the highly pessimistic Danny. Rudd also co-wrote the film.

The basic premise of “Role Models” is that two grown men, Danny and Wheeler, are forced to participate in the Sturdy Wings mentoring program for children. After the two energy drink representatives crash their Minotaur truck into a statue, they are forced into the program, rather than go to jail. Danny is paired with Augie, a teenager obsessed with LAIRE (a live action role playing game), while Wheeler’s “little” is a young foul-mouth, over-sexed Ronnie. They might just be the worst mentors ever, and madness ensues. The characters begin to learn to put aside their selfish, sarcastic ways to help the two oddball kids.

The supporting cast includes the very funny Elizabeth Banks as Danny’s ex-girlfriend Beth and the wacky recovering drug addict program director Gayle Sweeny portrayed by Jane Lynch. Also hilarious is Ken Jeong as the arrogant King Argotron, King of Cacedonia in the LAIRE world. One might recognize Jeong, a real life doctor, from his portrayal of the strange Dr. Kuni in “Knocked Up.”

“Role Models” is a great comedy, and the recently released unrated DVD did not disappoint. There are a plethora of great DVD extras. While the countless deleted scenes and alternate outtakes were wisely left off the theatrical movie’s release, the other bonus features are great.

The bloopers are hilarious, and it seems the cast genuinely had a great time making the comedy. In a segment called “In Character & Off Script,” three different characters are featured in hysterical improvised moments presenting a Sturdy Wings salute to Martin Gary, the overzealous five-time mentor, and Kuzzick and Davith of Glencracken, two hilarious LAIRE players. The actors were merely allowed to improvise rants that their characters would have. The abundance of improvisation in the film is discussed in the segment called “On The Set of Role Models,” as is the R-rated nature of the film. The film certainly warrants the R rating as everyone notes that director/co-screenwriter David Wain never shies from dirty jokes and profanity. The bonus features also include commentary by Wain.

The best segment of the bonus features had to be the section entitled “Game On: Creating a Role Playing World,” in which the actors and crew discuss creating their own role-playing game. It is absolutely hilarious witnessing how they adapted Live Action Role Playing, a real thing, into the film’s version LAIRE. The clips show King Agrotron being trained by a professional choreographer even though the characters use fake, almost cardboard like swords. Rudd comments how hysterical it is that the choreographer used to work on “The Bourne Ultimatum,” suggesting the transition “is like going from Harvard to Kindergarten.”

This film is absolutely hysterical and Rudd, Scott, Mintz-Plasse and Thompson are great. One particularly funny scene involves Danny exploding in anger in a coffee shop. He bitterly yells at the barista over the names of the cup sizes: “No, venti is twenty. Large is large. In fact, tall is large and grande is Spanish for large. Venti is the only one that doesn’t mean large. It’s also the only one that’s Italian. Congratulations, you’re stupid in three languages.” Classic.

The unrated DVD of “Role Models” is a worthwhile buy. Not only does it include both the theatrical and unrated versions of the film, it also contains tons of hilarious extra features.