Bil’s rating (out of 5): BBB.5.
USA/Germany, 2008. , Relativity Media, Stuber/Parent, Internationale Filmproduktion Stella-del-Süd, New Regency Pictures, WideAwake. Story by Timothy Dowling, W. Blake Herron, Screenplay by Paul Rudd, David Wain, Ken Marino, Timothy Dowling. Cinematography by Russ T. Alsobrook. Produced by Luke Greenfield, Mary Parent, Scott Stuber. Music by Craig Wedren. Production Design by Stephen J. Lineweaver. Costume Design by Molly Maginnis. Film Editing by Eric Kissack.
Enjoyable exercise in the highly familiar that works thanks to great chemistry between the two leads. Paul Rudd (who also co-wrote) plays a miserable employee of an energy-boosting soft drink who travels with the company’s mascot (Seann William Scott) to various high schools to promote the beverage to kids. When his frustrated girlfriend (Elizabeth Banks as a lawyer, hooray for Hollywood) dumps him because his anger management issues are too much for her to bear, Rudd takes his anger out on the job and gets him and Scott landed in trouble with the law. To avoid jail, the pair are forced to do community service at a Big Brother-like charity that pairs young people without role models with an older adult who can spend developmentally beneficial time with them. Scott ends up with a wiseass kid whose mouth could fly him to the moon, while Rudd is paired up with a lonely geek who loves playing a fantasy-land role-playing game. Where it all goes is easy to predict, but seeing two actors who have been relegated to boyfriend and sidekick status in so many other movies get the leads is gratifying, plus most of the comedy works extremely well. Jane Lynch does her creepy-woman bit to perfection once again as the self-righteous leader of the organization who is disturbingly proud of having overcome her drug-addicted, whoring past.