Like the songs says, I'm a "Simple Man" in many ways, so it doesn't take much to make me have a pretty great day.
First, the mighty Maryland Terrapins man up in the closing minutes to vanquish the Golden Bears of California, and the Turtle is now ready and willing to maul those Memphis Tigers. I can't wait to watch that Saturday afternoon.
Then after that I sat down to watch "Role Models," a truly crude comedy that I had just passed on in theaters but was loaned to me now by my cubicle mate Randy Waters, who usually has reliably good taste (though he couldn't get into "Chuck," so there is that caveat.)
And what I found with "Role Models" was a series of almost completely satisfying surprises. I knew going in that it would star veryfunnypeople Paul Rudd, Elizabeth Banks and Jane Lynch. Also Stifler and McLovin, both of whom I can only take in small doses.
What I didn't expect, however, was that it would at least partially be a reunion of "The State," and even better capture much of the spirit that made that show so deliriously funny. Remember "The State"? Being a certified old fuddy-duddy I can testify that the comedy troupe show that lasted for 29 episodes from 1993-95 was the last time I bothered to tune into any MTV series in its entirety.
"Role Models," it turns out, was directed by "State" vet David Wain, and co-written by Rudd and "State"-er Ken Marino. And along with Marino, the flick stars fellow "State" funnypeople Keri Kenney-Silver and Joe Lo Truglio, who can make me laugh out loud with just a look.
The second surprising thing "Role Models" has going for it is that, like the best Christopher Guest flicks, it throws you into a weird world and treats it with humorous respect, laughing with and sometimes at its players, but never cruelly mocking.
And that world for "Role Models" is LARP, or Live Action Role Playing. If that doesn't make you laugh at least a little already, you should probably just stay away from this one, in which Lo Truglio, Matt Walsh and most of all Ken Jeong as King Argotron dive completely into the madness this presents and wring just about all the comedy you can out of it (Rudd "killing" Walsh's Davith of Glencracken on the battlefield but then going into overkill was just particularly funny.)
Now, "Role Models" isn't a comedy for all tastes. It's consistently crude, and the opening bit about pimping energy drinks to kids, while making a point, wears thin too fast. And young Bobb'e J. Thompson will certainly test your tolerance for hearing kids spew the most profane of profanity throughout (I however, no matter how old I supposedly get, will always find that funny, and I did here.) The world also could certainly survive without any more Kiss jokes. All that said, however, if you just passed on "Role Models" in theaters like I did, take a chance on it now and I think you'll find a genuine laugher with just enough heart.
And speaking of funny, I'll close today with the new (I think) trailer for Harold Ramis' "The Year One," which is set to drop in the middle of June. Like "Tropic Thunder" I think this one will certainly try the nerves of people for whom a little Jack Black goes a very long way, but I'm really looking forward to it. Rudd and David Cross as Cane and Abel, in particular, should just be a hoot. Enjoy, and have a perfectly pleasant weekend. Peace out.