How adults can benefit from relationships with children has been explored cinematically since before Charlie Chaplin met The Kid. One good recent example of this type of story was The School of Rock where Jack Black’s inner-child was flattered by a bunch of musical youths. A bad example is Role Models in which two excitable energy drinks reps, Danny (Paul Rudd) and Wheeler (Seann William Scott) are forced to mentor troubled youths or face jail for reckless driving. Danny, recently dumped by his lawyer girlfriend (the seemingly ubiquitous Elisabeth Banks), looks after a teenager who is into medieval role-playing (Christopher Mintz-Plass regurgitating the gawky boy he essayed in Superbad). Wheeler has his fun with a foulmouthed 10-year-old Ronnie (Bobb’e J Thomson). Director David Wain wrongly seems to think that puerile, lewd behaviour is funny by default; subtlety is not in his repertoire. The one bright spark is the performance of Jane Lynch as the former drug addict who runs a no-nonsense mentoring program.
General release from Fri 2 Jan.