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The One-Line Summary: When Danny (Paul Rudd) impulsively proposes to his girlfriend (Elizabeth Banks) and she declines, he goes into a tailspin as he already loathes his job as a promotional salesman for an energy drink called “Minotaur” and has an episode at a school where he ends up arrested with his upbeat co-worker Wheeler (Seann William Scott) and ordered by the court to do community service at Study Wings, a mentor program for young men, which, despite going in thinking they can give it minimal effort, changes their lives.
The Two-Line Blurb: What could have been a forgettable and utterly misguided comedy, Role Models unexpectedly pulls off something rather special mixing some very funny moments with genuine emotion as the men come to form powerful bonds with the young misfits they are paired with, Ronnie (Bobb’e J. Thompson) a foul-mouthed boy obsessed with women’s breasts and Augie (Christopher Mintz-Plasse) a painfully introverted kid who spends all his time thinking about medieval live-action role playing. Both Rudd and Scott are fun to watch and make a great comedy team with contrasting styles that really work well together, delivering a solid film that might surprise.
The Three-Line Set-up: This moment is about friendship and it starts with Danny and Wheeler, who work together but aren’t on the same page as it were, as Wheeler finds great joy dressing as the energy drink mascot and acting wild while Danny is slowly sinking into depression. After they get into trouble and begin their community service, having the two boys with them gives them something more to have in common and the shared experience brings them closer together until they screw up and lose their place in Sturdy Wings. They argue and separate, prepared to spend time in jail.
The Four-Line Moment: Meanwhile, because of Danny, Augie is banned for life from participating in the medieval live-action role-playing club until Danny makes amends with the club’s “King” (Ken Jeong) who allows them to reenter but only if they can find two other members to form a country. Danny calls upon Wheeler, who manages to win over Ronnie’s mother to get permission to see her son and the four come together dressed as members of the 70s glam rock band KISS, complete with make-up. As silly as the event makes Danny feel, he finds himself drawn into it and his affection for his friends inspires him to do the right thing by them all. This leads Wheeler to “sacrifice” himself to protect Danny in order to help Augie cross enemy lines and leads to one of the film’s funniest and even most touching moments.
The Five-Word Review: Watch Jane Lynch steal scenes.