FILM REVIEW: “Role Models,” not something to look up to

Most of us can remember programs such as D.A.R.E, coming to speak to our fifth-grade classes about staying off drugs. Imagine a similar team with the same philosophy, but one that is tied to an energy drink company. Sense the irony? This crude, in-your-face concept is exactly what “Role Models” is about.Danny Donahue, (Paul Rudd), an energy drink rep, slowly but surely is getting fed up with life, and specifically the brainless corpo?rate lingo that has brainwashed the majority. One day when his negativity takes a turn for the worse, he and horny coworker Wheeler, played by Sean William Scott, crash the company truck into a school statue. The boys have a choice, go to jail, or do 150 hours of community service with “Sturdy Wings,” a non-profit organization devoted to helping children through spending quality time with them. With the entrance of actress Jayne Lynch, comes the real laughs. For, as the founder of “Sturdy Wings,” her character Gayle Sweeney provides a blunt attitude, putting it all on the table. Her lines are amusingly puzzling, such as “You can’t bullshit the bull shitter. And if you try to bullshit me I will bring out the fly swatter, and swat all the flies, that are…your bullshit.” While the film certainly provided some comedic enjoyment, it carried an uncomfortable weight. Donahue and Wheeler are forced to become mentors to young boys, and what follows is more than awkward-it injects audience laughter with a twinge of shame. This mainly comes with the films focus on sex. While the immediate message is that these guys are terrible mentors, the knowledge that comes with ten year old Ronnie Sheilds, is appaling. On immediacy he says things like “fuck” and “shit,” and has a fascination with boobs. All to which Wheeler replies with joy, finally something he has been yearning to teach!The presence of children in this film disable the audience from truly letting go. Rather than feeling like one is out to see just another potty-mouthed “American Pie” type narrative, the film makes you feel like your are in the same room watching porn with children, or even worse-your parents. Christopher Mintz-Plasse, or the beloved “McLovin'” from popular film “Superbad,” plays the alternate-universe meddling teen, as well as Donahue’s “little.” To pair someone who is fed up with the real world, with someone who is constantly escaping it, evokes an interesting question, what is reality anyway? And, what makes one per?son’s reality superior to another’s?Perhaps rather than just trying to evoke laughter out of these blatantly inexperienced men and their absurd situation, proving that they are perhaps more child-like than the kids they work with, the film is doing something more.It seems to be pointing at the twisted society we live in, where passionate children are ostracized by their families, young children are oversexed, and smart people end up selling energy drinks. While the film provides insight to the strengths of adults and children learning from each other, what it is really doing, consciously or subconsciously, is reminding us how pessimistic and corrupt we become as we grow, especially in today’s world. However, the movie’s overall raunchy nature is proving of that very message itself.Role ModelsDir. David WainUniversal Pictures2 Stars