Wednesday, November 19, 2008

"Suck It, Reindeer Games!"

Role Models-David Wain-2008


Two comedic character actors finally get a shot at sharing a starring role in a recent widely released film. Paul Rudd and Sean William Scott are funny guys, but rarely do we see them get their due. Sean William Scott had the unfortunate job of becoming a character that would embody his entire career, Stifler. And if that isn't enough he hasn't outgrown him. While lately, he seems to be trying with films like The Promotion and Mr. Woodcock, did anyone actually see those? Not only did no one get around to watching them, I doubt there will ever be a time when someone looks at them(Mr. Woodcock especially) and thinks to themselves, I should really watch this, nay, I NEED to see this.

David Wain has redeemed Scott and finally given Rudd the screen time he has earned. Wheeler(Scott) is Stifler, only a bit more mature. We actually feel for this character, and he too actually feels for other characters. What has been done here with brilliance is something that Apatow has really grabbed a hold of recently. Think of a plot you have seen a million times, fill the roles with hilarious but not quite A-list actors, add a touch of sugar and place on simmer for 90 minutes.

This isn't a perfect film by any means, and it also isn't going to really blow anyone away. What this film will do is provide anyone watching it with an enjoyable time, well written characters and absurd comedy.

David Wain is most known for his work with The State and Stella, but has recently directed 2 films prior to this(Wet Hot American Summer and The Ten) and while all of his other work takes comedy to such an absurd level that it's hard to get just anyone to sit down and watch it, this film reigns that absurdism in a bit, puts a bow on it and gives it to it's viewer as a gift. This might be a good thing, may be bad, depending on the viewer.

Another wonderful thing about this film is the fact that no one plays second fiddle. Everyone is hilarious. Jane Lynch is hysterical(watch out for the hot dog trick, Ken Marino and her have a little more fun a bit into the credits) Ken Jeong proves that he is the funniest man alive and of course Chistopher Mintz-Plasse and Bobb'e J Thompson(Augie and Ronnie respectively) are perfect fits for their roles. Anyone who thought Mintz-Plasse was only McLovin needs to look out, this kids going places.

Throughout all these outstanding comedic performances we get a bit of a romance between Rudd and Elizabeth Banks. While this romance is what basically drives everything that follows in the story, it is unnecessary and cliche'. The film could easily work with a few tweaks and drops this whole storyline, but with it in there, we aren't really hurt either.

What basically works out the best is that nothing is wasted here. Every throw away line used by a character is brought back into context within the film. You haven't seen KISS like this before.

While I will commend Wain more for his work with Stella, I really think he hit all the right notes with Role Models and hope all these actors aren't strangers over there in Hollywood. I am looking forward to seeing them all again.


Anonymous said...

Cool blog, but you should change the color of your text. hurts me eyes!

Fletch said...

First off, I'm afraid I have to agree with Anon there. Aneurysm, here I come!

Anyway, glad you echo the Jeong love; that guy's great normally, and especially here. The subtle things he did more or less had me rolling.

Dead Pan said...

Thanks for letting me know about the text, I didn't mind it but I'm glad I was informed that it was bother my actual readers. Is it better now?

Fletch said...



Sorry. :(

Though I have issues with just about any site with a dark background and light text.

(Get a 2nd opinion, though. I'm partially color blind. Not a lot - just a little.)

Dead Pan said...

this should work. =)

Fletch said...


Is there a little snark in there?

Dead Pan said...

none whatsoever. =)