Role Models


by Johnny Web (Uncle Scoopy; Greg Wroblewski)

Danny and Wheeler travel from school to school doing a "just say no to drugs" dog-and-pony show, the real purpose of which is to sell energy drinks.  They are two guys going nowhere, although the difference between them is that Wheeler doesn't care. He's an overgrown frat boy whose life revolves around parties and poontang, and he actually enjoys wearing a minotaur suit all day. Danny, however, once envisioned a real life, and has fallen into a deep and gloomy state of permanent depression.

Danny has a particularly bad day and loses it, slipping into destructive behavior which causes the two of them to get sentenced to 150 hours of community service in lieu of jail time. They get assigned to the judge's favorite charity, which is kind of a "big brother" organization which pairs up male volunteers with boys who need adult male role models. Wheeler (Stifler) is paired with a foul-mouthed black kid with a real attitude, and Danny (Paul Rudd) is paired with an older teen (McLovin) who is lost in a fantasy world of live-action role playing in which the participants create medieval kingdoms. It's kind of like playing Dungeons and Dragons in the park with plastic swords.

The film often misfires when it parodies the big brother organizations, and the basic storyline progresses like about a hundred movies you've already seen. In fact, you already know exactly what will happen, believe me. That doesn't matter. The characters are drawn from life, the dialogue has a raunchy charm, and the film has several good things going for it:

1. The scenes involving the role-playing game are very entertaining. The film somehow manages to present this world (which really exists) in a humorous light, but without contempt. Indeed, Danny's contemptuous first impression is soundly rebuked by his character arc. Damn, I promised myself I would never use the term "character arc." That means I've now used every cliché in the English language except "deconstruct."

2. Jane Lynch, as the head of the big brother group, is wildly funny and sometimes so far off-the-wall that her lines are utterly baffling, which somehow makes them funnier. (I wonder how much she ad-libbed.) She manages to exude an aura of insanity beneath the tough-hearted compassion she shows for the kids, all while constantly reminding the adults that she used to suck cocks for blow (and she uses those words).

3. There are three or four set pieces that had me howling out loud at the dialogue. Two examples:

In one scene, McLovin gets a bunch of laughs by delivering a stirring speech to his medieval warriors, an inspirational call to battle which weaves an incompatible tapestry consisting partly of Kenneth Branagh in Henry V and partly of Samuel L Jackson in Jackie Brown. The sound of McLovin cussin' like Samuel L is funny enough, but he also peppers the speech with anachronistic references to the fact that he looks like a young Marvin Hammlich. (Which he does, now that I think about it.)

In another, which has absolutely nothing to do with the plot, Danny's lawyer/girlfriend tries to get a client to accept a plea bargain instead of pleading not guilty, which he insists he must do despite the fact that he was caught burglarizing a store on the security cam. His defense of "that could be any bald guy" to the first part of the tape is somewhat belied by the next part, in which he announces his name and crime on the tape by saying something incriminating to his crony - something to the effect of: "Whoever thought that I, Joe So-and-so, would be here in the Best Buy Warehouse on July 4th, 2007, stealing all the Panasonic XD-17 Plasma TVs?" No matter. He still insists he is innocent.

Bottom line: a pleasant, big-hearted, raunchy and adolescent way to pass the time! I enjoyed the hell out of it.


* to be announced







2 James Berardinelli (of 4 stars)
3 Roger Ebert (of 4 stars)
75 Rotten Tomatoes  (% positive)
59 (of 100)


7.9 IMDB summary (of 10)

IMDb fanboys love it, thus giving McLovin's Henry V impersonation a higher score than the one Branagh received for Shakespeare's version.)

A- Yahoo Movies


Box Office Mojo. As I write this, $58m and counting.



  • Carly Craig and Jessica Morris showed their breasts in brief scenes.
  • Stifler (Seann William Scott) showed his butt.



Our Grade:

If you are not familiar with our grading system, you need to read the explanation, because the grading is not linear. For example, by our definition, a C is solid and a C+ is a VERY good movie. There are very few Bs and As. Based on our descriptive system, this film is a:


Funny, warm, and surprisingly brainy.