“Role Play”: Humorous Situations

I was very curious about this film that stars Kaley Cuoco and David Oyelowo. While it’s a premise that’s been seen before, typically the unsuspecting spouse is the female. In this film, the spy is played by Kaley with David Oyelowo playing the trusting husband. While much of the film is what you expect, there are flashes of real humor from both actors, hilarious situations with the rest of the cast and the humorous situations were what made this film fun for me.

“Role Play is an action comedy film directed by Thomas Vincent and written by Seth Owen. In the movie, Emma (Kaley Cuoco), a loving wife and mother, is a contract killer for hire. When she’s home it is clear she loves her husband David (David Oyelowo) and her two children, Wiley and Caroline. David suspects nothing when she takes frequent flights for work. But on their seventh anniversary, they decide to enact some role play at a hotel only to run into an obstacle, Bob Fetterman (Bill Nighy), who knows who Emma is. Hijinks occur and Emma’s secret comes out, much to David’s dismay. With the spy organization Sovereign and her old boss, Gwen Carver (Connie Nielsen), after Emma, she tries to find a way to get out of the business, get her family safe, and navigate the secrets she’s been keeping from David. 

One of the best elements in the film is the dialogue, between David and Emma but also between them and their children. The back and forth of navigating a family, the request for puppies and dealing with the needs of young children is actually part of what makes the film humorous, particularly the juxtaposition to Emma’s work. Literally the best part is David Oyelowo’s reactions. His ability to emote and his comedic chops are what make every scene he’s in funny. 

The dialogue does a lot of the heavy lifting on the comedic moments. Sentences like, “You shot me?” or “Mama has to go to work” are hilarious. And every time, you think Emma has a plan that works, something goes wrong, in particular when she thinks David will stay at home waiting for her. I love how the messed up situations add to the comedy, especially Gwen Carver’s expectations for Emma and Emma’s reactions to her.

The action scenes are decent. Emma is portrayed as smart, not just skilled. So the action doesn’t just rely on her shooting the bad guys. It requires her to be intelligent about pursuers on her trail, getting rid of them by tricking them, by using disguises and using poison to slip something into a glass. I like that she isn’t able to always overcome her opponents and it gets better when she has to try to protect her family. 

David Oyelowo is the highlight of this film, showing us comedy talent. His ability to emote and his reactions create the humor in the film. His rapport with Kaley Cuoco is believable, especially the drama when he finds out who she really is. Kaley Cuoco is decent in the role of spy and assassin. She delivers her dialogue with humor and excels at the action scenes. Her interaction with Bill Nighy is hilarious. Bill Nighy delivers some of the best lines and is absolutely fantastic. I just wish we’d gotten more time with his character. Connie Nielsen as Gwen Carver is demented and perfectly funny. 

While the film is humorous and action packed, it is fairly predictable. While the family scenes are funny, there isn’t anything we haven’t seen before. The twist is that it’s done from the female point of view and honestly, David Oyelowo is the highlight with his incredible reactions and witty dialogue. He and Bill Nighy add so much humor and fun that I did find the film delightful, despite the lack of originality. 

If you like movies about spies or assassins, with lots of humor, you might want to check out Role Play. With David Oyelowo and Bill Nighy, there is tons of hilarious acting, great action from Kaley Cuoco and tons of humorous situations, including with the two children. While it is predictable, the humor adds fun and I really loved the dialogue in the movie. If you like action comedies, you may like this film as well. I know I did.

Rating: 4 out of 5 wigs

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