What happens when two immature, self-centered people wind up as mentors to today's youth? Role Models is the latest crude comedy with heart in which the worst possible role models have to spend time with some peoblematic kids.

Danny (Paul Rudd) and Wheeler (Seann William Scott) are buddies who make a living travelling to high schools promoting Minotaur energy drink ("taste the beast!") and telling kids to stay off drugs. Wheeler is happy, dressing as a Minotaur and having lots of casual sex. Danny, already depressed about pushing energy drink for ten years, feels worse when his girlfriend Beth (Elizabeth Banks) breaks up with him. Danny drives the Minotaur mobile onto a school statue, and to avoid jail the two guys have to do 150 hours of community service.

Danny and Wheeler are forced into Building Wings, a mentoring program run by ex-addict Gayle (Jane Lynch). Danny gets to spend time with Augie Farks (Christopher Mintz-Plasse, best known as McLovin from Superbad), an uber-geeky teenager who wears a cape and is obsessed with L.A.I.R.E., a live-action roleplaying medieval fantasy world. Wheeler gets Ronne (Bobb'e Thompson), a little kid who curses constantly and is obsessed with breasts.

There's nothing really new in Role Models, but it still manages to be lots of fun. Except for the somewhat sentimental ending, the movie never loses its sense of crude fun: Danny and Wheeler shouldn't be mentors to anyone, and their kids are handfuls unto themselves. There's a terrific supporting cast here -- Jane Lynch is hilarious as the unstable helper, Kerri-Kenney-Silver as Augie's mom who always seems sweet but never stops putting him down, and lots of silly folks at the big L.A.I.R.E. battle -- and the leads are very good in their roles. Director and co-writer David Wain strikes the right balance between making his protagonists likeable and jerks.

Role Models is a funny little comedy. (The dvd has standard extras: deleted scenes, interviews, and behind-the-scenes looks at making the world of L.A.I.R.E.) If you're not easily offended and want to spend a few hours laughing, check out these two models of bad behavior.

Overall grade: B
Reviewed by James Lynch

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