Role Models (Blu-ray)

"What I'm trying to say is that when I get out of prison, can I hang out with your 10-year-old son?" Not the sort of line you'd expect in a mainstream American comedy, but trust me, it's a lot more innocent than it sounds. And you can also trust me when I tell you that Role brings a sense of warmth and genuine belly laughs to the broad knockabout stuff.

Danny (Rudd) and Wheeler (Scott) are spokesmen for a Red Bull-esque energy drink, and on a promotional tour of schools: don’t do drugs, kids, do caffeine. After a long day on their own product, with Danny already halfway to a breakdown after lawyer girlfriend Beth (Banks) has dumped him, a row with a parking warden escalates and the two face jail time. Beth gets them a deal: instead of jail time, they have to spend a month mentoring two kids as on the Sturdy Wings programme.

For Wheeler, it’s boob-obsessed sweary Ronnie (Thompson). For Danny, it’s live-action role-playing gamer Augie (McLovin legend Mintz Plasse). Because nobody said it was going to be easy – especially those who can spot a formula a mile off. Will they help the kids while helping themselves to become better people? What do you think?

Happily though, by the time the never-in-doubt resolution comes round, you’ve had big (and cynical) laughs aplenty and Wain’s handling of the same is sweet not sugary. It’s a rare broad comedy that can keep you giggling for 99 minutes AND sends you out grinning and feeling warm and fuzzy, but Role Models succeeds where many have failed. Yes, it’s juvenile, yes, there’s a reliance on dick jokes, no, it’s not one to take your mum to, but it is funny, touching, well played and quotable as hell. And, for once, not all of the good gags are in the trailer.

EXTRAS **** The best feature is the fact you get two different cuts of the film – the theatrical version, and an "unrated" version. There's the usual BD Live stuff (U-Control etc) as well as an audio commentary with director/cowriter Wain, a very funny blooper reel, deleted scenes and alternate takes, an "on the set" featurette, and three other behind-the-scenes featurettes – Game On: Creating a Role Playing World, In Character & Off-Script, and Ye Olde Crest Maker.A good package for a great film.

Stuart O'Connor is the Managing Editor of Screenjabber, the movie review website he co-founded with Neil Davey far too many years ago. He likes all genres, as long as the film is good (although he does enjoy the occasional bad "guilty pleasure"), and drinks way too much coffee.

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