For Role Models, co-written by Paul Rudd and The State's David Wain, the cards are on the table: This is meant to be another Judd Apatow movie. But Apatow's hands aren't anywhere on this, though many of his regulars make appearances—and ultimately, the mix of comedy and heart that Apatow has perfected just doesn't come through here.
Rudd plays Danny, a less funny, more angry version of his Knocked Up character, and Seann William Scott plays Wheeler, AKA Stifler, his exact same character from American Pie. The pair hawk energy drinks to school kids until Danny loses his girlfriend, has a temper tantrum, and gets them both arrested and sentenced to community service mentoring kids. Wheeler gets stuck with Ronnie (Bobb'e J. Thompson), a foul-mouthed, moderately funny child, while Danny is paired up with Augie (Christopher Mintz-Plasse, better known as Superbad's McLovin'), a Dungeons & Dragons geek. There are ups and downs in the boys' turns as big brothers and some easy laughs, but in the end, the expected: Danny gets happy and gets the girl, Wheeler grows up, the kids' lives are touched, and everyone lives happily ever after.
Role Models is not a terrible movie. If you want to have two hours of your life gone—not necessarily wasted, but not necessarily cherished, either, then this is a fine way to spend them. Good comedies are about the experience in the theater, for sure, but they're also the experience after—the number of jokes that stay with you, that you want to repeat, that you smile just thinking of. I laughed a bit during Role Models, and as soon as it was over, I shrugged.