Superbad (2007)
Superbad (2007)

Genre: Comedy Running Time: 1 hr. 53 min.

Release Date: August 17th, 2007 MPAA Rating: R

Director: Greg Mottola Actors: Jonah Hill, Michael Cera, Christopher Mintz-Plasse, Bill Hader, Seth Rogen, Emma Stone, Joe Lo Truglio, Martha MacIsaac, Dave Franco, Marcella Lentz-Pope, Laura Seay

 


 

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hough the plot of “Superbad” doesn’t find itself far from typical, teen comedy territory, the oftentimes outrageous dialogue and vulgar exchanges between stars Michael Cera and Jonah Hill are both wildly hilarious and genuinely portrayed. Sadly, the adult characters can’t match the awkward authenticity of the kids, so when their stories are juxtaposed, the varying levels of believability become far too disparate. The mismatched styles each provide plenty of laughs, but the more honest nature of the teenagers’ plights (while definitely exaggerated for maximum comedic effect) outshines the uncouth police officers’ side-story. At least the significant “McLovin” character bridges the two with competent buffoonery, if nothing else.

Inseparable best friends Seth (Jonah Hill) and Evan (Michael Cera) are rebellious, misfit teens concerned primarily with getting girls and getting wasted in the few short weeks before high school graduation. Each has seemingly unattainable love/lust interests – Jules (Emma Stone) and Becca (Martha MacIsaac), respectively – until an opportunity to prove their manhood arises, thanks to Jules, who decides to throw a party that requires copious amounts of alcohol for the underage crowd. With the help of their friend Fogell (Christopher Mintz-Plasse in a role described as “the anti-poon”), the recipient of a newly made fake ID, they plan to get the liquor and impress the ladies. But events begin to spiral out of control when Fogell gets assaulted at the store before accepting a ride home from two unorthodox police officers (Bill Hader and Seth Rogen). Now, Seth and Evan must find an alternate route to acquiring the booze and winning the hearts (or at least the indiscretions) of their prospective girlfriends.

The colorful conversations are the highlight of the show, creatively using metaphors to describe and discuss all manners of sex, pornography, girls, bullies, and everything else the standard foul-mouthed adolescent might talk about. The script is sensationally filthy, with the mischances of the group of wannabes epitomizing many of the themes of growing up. Once again, the goal is sex, and the film plays out like a road trip for two high school seniors to score – fueled, of course, by intoxicants. A pertinent backup theme becomes friendship and the ways various relationships are strained based on the need to fit it or socialize, along with the eventual eye-opening realization of how girls react to male advances differently – and how the reciprocation is sometimes unpredictable (or that rare moment of calming, mental clarity in adolescent fantasies). But the basic search for sex (perhaps the most commonplace, raunchy teen comedy motif) wildly outweighs all other ideas.

As the two most inept, abusive, and irresponsible cops ever on the job, Hader and Rogen don’t even try to appear realistic. Although both actors are usually hilarious by themselves, their involvement here is only to tie together mildly humorous situations that will lead the leading trio to their party destination. These disgraceful officers are easily the weakest link, breaking up the more acceptable moments with the youths that provide relevant comedy. Their generous screentime is unfortunate and wasteful, considering that the quirky expressions and reactions of the idiosyncratically drawn high-schoolers give the gross-out gags at hand an undeniably appealing credibility. Mintz-Plasse, the youngest looking of them all, is given the job of appearing the oldest; the older, college-aged gathering is shown as terrifyingly more adult (thanks to harsher drugs and tempers); and out-of-their-league, status-obsessed girls are actually rather dorky. Is “Superbad” the kind of movie teens should watch for role model material? Absolutely not. But it’s still funnily inappropriate, thoroughly engaging, and perfectly out of control.

– The Massie Twins

  • 8/10