You could say that Judd Apatow and his cadre of actor/writer/producer/director friends have raised the bar for testosterone-fueled juvenilia. To some degree, we've come a long way from the Farrelly brothers and even the Kevin Smiths of the world, inasmuch as you can elevate dick jokes and nerd references to a slightly higher level. Perhaps because of his ubiquity, Apatow's particular breed of humor has been the Status quo for that specific genre for the last several years, and therefore most of us have learned to expect that much, but no more.
David Wain's latest offering, Role Models, is therefore a welcome departure from the middling bro comedies that have been inundating the cineplexes of late. Sure, the premise isn't much -- two guys with an Odd Couple dynamic get themselves on the wrong side of the law and end up having to serve community service, logging hours for a Big Brothers/Big Sisters-typed program, and hilarity ensues. But the devil is in the details. Wain's writing is more nuanced, more cerebral than the average buddy movie scribe's, and his pop-cultural touchstones much cultier. He's the thinking man's (or the hipster's?) Apatow, and in the case of Role Models, it makes for an uproarious thrill ride of laughs. (Wow, did I just write that?)
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