November 7, 2008, - 3:13 pm

Weekend Box Office: Raunchy “Role Models”, “Soul Men” Appeal to Lowest Common Denominator

By Debbie Schlussel
I’m getting really tired of movie comedies that would be more worthy of your ten dollars, were they not so raunchy and vile. That’s the case with both of this weekend’s new offerings, “Soul Men” and “Role Models”. My advice is to skip both and rent a good movie like “The Final Patient” (read my review), instead. Or wait for next week’s selections, including “Quantum of Solace” and “The Boy in the Striped Pajamas”. I did not review “Madagascar 2”.
* “Soul Men“: This movie, about two members of a former hit Motown-style group (think “The Temptations”, or a male version of “The Supremes”), had an interesting, interesting story and a lot of funny lines. But parts of it were so raunchy, stupid, and silly, that it made the movie entirely unworthy of your $10. You don’t need to be a prude to feel that way. There are only so many utterances of the P-word one should have to endure in a movie (I’d prefer zero).


Parts of it are simply vile. I mean how many gratuitous naked female breast shots must I endure, especially incongruously enormous ones? Haha, funny. Juvenile and moronic, as were the many gratuitous and gross sex scenes, including one where a woman removes her dentures. Blechhhh.
It was clear the movie was trying to appeal to the lowest common denominator in urban America. And in that realm, it succeeded. If you like hip-hop videos and obscene rap songs, you’ll like this. For the rest of us, stay away.
Samuel L. Jackson and the late Bernie Mac play former members of a successful soul/pop group, whose third member has just died. He left them to become a successful soul act, and they left him to become, respectively, a con serving time in jail for coke possession who has become a down-on-his-luck auto mechanic, and a retired car wash magnate. They’re invited to perform at a VH1 tribute to their former partner and overcome their mutual dislike for a cross-country road trip to New York to do the show. Many cameos by the late Isaac Hayes grace this unworthy film.
I would have given this vulgar movie more Marxes in the ratings system, but there were a lot of funny lines, and I liked how they made fun of hip-hop dummies (a hip-hopper think T. S. Elliot is rapper Missy Elliot, and he calls musical instruments, “instrumentators”). (Best line in the movie: “You ain’t had a hit since Ike hit Tina.”) So I give it . . .
* “Role Models: This is basically the White version of “Soul Men” with a different story line. It’s a vulgar buddy movie about two 30-something immature guys who work for an energy drink company and travel to schools making anti-drug presentations. Because of an incident at one of those presentations, they find themselves sentenced to community service, consisting of working as mentors to troubled kids at a “Big Brother/Big Sister” style organization.
The two men, Seann William Scott (“Stiffler” from “American Pie”) and Paul Rudd mentor the kids and get into lots of trouble. One of the kids is a Dungeons-and-Dragons-obsessed nerd (“McLovin” from “Superbad”) and the other is a young Black kid with a foul mouth and obsessions with naked women’s breasts. Need I say more? It’s a really funny movie with a predictable ending, but it’s very low-class and full of gratuitous sexual references, obscenities, and naked butt and breast shots. Enough of this oversexed crap that is so weak it uses this as a crutch.
Um, sorry, but a ten-year-old Black kid speaking like a sewer just isn’t that funny to me. Ditto for his “mentor” (Scott) encouraging the interest in breasts and “enhancing” the dialogue.
Best scene in the movie: Toward the beginning, when Paul Rudd attacks a barista in a Starbucks-esque coffeehouse regarding the pretentious “Venti” and “Tall” names for sizes, something that has annoyed me and many others for years. But that was the only good scene in the movie, and it’s all significantly downhill from there.
The only other redeeming part was the other mentor (Rudd) and his mentee (McLovin), who encourages him to be himself and win at the Medieval fighting re-enactment game he plays. But it wasn’t redeeming enough to make this movie worth your time or excuse the vileness of the rest of it. The movie simply appealed to the lowest common denominator to appeal to teen and frat boy America.

3 Responses

Desperation, that’s all this is people. These two films will fail just like all the other lowlife films did.

Squirrel3D on November 7, 2008 at 4:28 pm

Enough of this oversexed crap that is so weak it uses this as a crutch.
Attorney, Columnist, and Hip, Conservative Info-Babe Commentator, Debbie Schlussel is the VRWC’s latest and greatest sexy, blonde, and beautiful commentator. With a law degree, MBA, long blonde tresses, and sports acumen to boot, she’s a red-blooded American guy’s dream. To paraphrase “Wayne’s World’s” Wayne and Garth, if she were President, Debbie Schlussel would be Babe-raham Lincoln.

lolwut on November 7, 2008 at 5:30 pm

I’ve been enjoying Sponge Bob cartoons lately, which I watch with a very young, pro-McCain associate.

Anonymous1 on November 7, 2008 at 10:23 pm

Leave a Reply

* denotes required field