Salesmen Danny (Paul Rudd) and Wheeler (Seann William Scott) spend their days visiting schools promoting the benefits of the energy drink Minotaur. While womanising Wheeler loves the job, despite having to dress as the mythical creature, Danny loathes every minute of it, his disdain for the state of his entire life even starting to harm his relationship with attorney girlfriend Beth (Elizabeth Banks). When the two men get into an unfortunate altercation that sees them sentenced to jail time, Beth steps in and persuades the judge to give them community service instead. Assigned to Sturdy Wings, a programme that sees grown-ups mentor troubled children, Danny and Wheeler are paired with Augie (Christopher Mintz-Plasse) and Ronnie (Bobb'e J. Thompson), two of the scheme's most difficult kids. While boisterous Ronnie runs rings around Wheeler and the terminally nerdy Augie drives Danny up the wall, the two men slowly discover that the answer to their adult problems lies in what they can learn from their young friends.
Released to decent enough reviews and fair box office takings, Role Models is an underrated gem that will undoubtedly have a long life in the home entertainment market. While many directors struggle to blend potty-mouthed humour with genuine feeling, David Wain makes it look easy in this lovable comedy that pays off emotionally, while never interrupting the flow of great gags. What's more, it even throws excitement into the mix, with a rousing finale that sees Danny and Wheeler support Augie in a live Dungeons-and-Dragons-style battle. Rudd has been an integral part of several top-notch comedy films, including Knocked Up and Anchorman: The Legend Of Ron Burgundy, and he comes into his own here as the world-weary Danny, with Mintz-Plasse (Superbad's McLovin') a delightfully geeky underdog.
Also worth mentioning is the excellent Jane Lynch (The 40 Year Old Virgin) as Sturdy Wings' founder Gayle Sweeny, a woman with a dark past and some of the funniest lines in the film.