Friday, March 20, 2009

Comedy catch-up: A look at "Role Models"


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.

14 comments:

jeremy said...

You've seen "Wet Hot American Summer" with the State guys, right?
I think its a wonderful send up of Meatballs and has some of the funnies sound editing I've ever heard.

Reel Fanatic said...

I have indeed ... If I'm not mistaken that one was directed by Wain too, and it is truly a minor comedy classic

J. Marquis said...

I really loved "Role Models". It's a bit crude but there are some damn funny moments. I think Paul Rudd is the reason it transcends just being another mindless comedy...he has an amazing ability to turn his character's frustration into moments of brilliant angry humor. And he's just very likeable.

Mrs. W. said...

Randy has reliably good taste? I think I'll take that as a compliment! hope you have a wonderfully pink first day of spring! Mrs. W.

Reel Fanatic said...

If you can avoid it, don't tell Randy I said that ... I don't want it to go to his head, since I have to sit beside him every day!

And you're certainly right about Paul Rudd, Mr. Marquis ... He makes even a bad movie a little better, and makes a surprisingly good movie like this one border on being great

Mrs. W. said...

My lips are sealed! And btw - I loved "Role Models". I felt guilty laughing when "Ronnie" had such a foul mouth, but it was funny. The movie also had a kind of "warm-your-heart" theme - doing something good for the children. Glad you got to see it!

Ashok said...

"Role Models" is a good comedy flick of course with Paul Rudd doing what he is pretty good at. He is good in "I Love You, Man" too but Jason Segel is fantastic actually. I loved it !

Nell Minow said...

I liked the LARP sections of "Role Models," too -- and Rudd is always worth watching.

Take a look at the documentary "Darkon," if you get a chance, a great film about role-playing gamers.

Reel Fanatic said...

I'll certainly add that one to my Netflix list, Nell ... Every time I think I'm too much of a geek, I see those people and just look in wonder, and, to be honest, more than a little jealousy at their complete lack of embarrassment at having so much fun

Canadian Viagra said...

Damn I hate this programs, in a good way of course, they are so so stupid jaja xD I wonder why we enjoy when something bad happen to people haha anyway thanks

pharmacy said...

I really like this site, it's so important to know more about this topic, keep it up and of course every time I have time I'll love to check out again

Viagra Online prescription said...

I really like are all interesting films each has its own perspective and projection, I have a primop you like this kind of movies

standard carry on luggage size said...

very nice article. You should continue this, I'm sure most people would agree you've got a gift. Thanks a lot for writing good quality posts.

Anonymous said...

xanax antidepressant xanax withdrawal ringing ears - can someone overdose xanax