Movie Review: Superbad (2007)
Going into Superbad, I expected an edgier coming to age type of movie, in which a couple of dorks get the girls of their dreams all while learning the importance of not becoming something other than who they are. Very quickly however, I realized this was not going to be your ordinary teen angst comedy — not by a long shot.
Within the first two minutes of the film (after the opening dance silhouette), I was bombarded with a barrage of vulgarity that rivaled, if not surpassed, that which was in Clerks II. Seth (Jonah Hill) has started his school day talking about jacking off to obscure pay porn sites with his best friend Evan (Michael Cera). After hearing their initial conversation and seeing them, it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to conclude they’re social outcasts who wholly rely on one another for support. Unfortunately for them, in a cruel twist of fate, these gents only have a few short months left together before they head off to separate colleges. As their final hurrah, they develop a plan to get laid by the two girls they adore: Becca (Martha MacIsaac) for Seth and Jules (Emma Stone) for Evan. The plan is simple — get the girls wasted and take advantage of them. Lucky for our numbskull teenage friends, their plan may actually come to fruition because they’ve volunteered to acquire the alcohol for a final house party. This, as you can imagine, takes our ladyless heroes into uncharted territory while also taking Superbad slightly off course.
And while I say “off course” I certainly don’t mean the movie gets serious or loses its level of potty humor. It’s far from that. What happens is the writers (Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg) veer off of the awkward teenager situation and thrust the stars into insane situations with insane people for the laughs. Take for example, the alcohol acquisition campaign. What should have been a fifteen minute segue instead turns into the entire second half of the movie. Their buddy Fogell (Christopher Mintz-Plasse) a.k.a. McLovin (who they peg to get the alcohol with a fake I.D.), ends up hanging around two bumbling, idiot cops played by Bill Hader and Seth Rogen. These guys roam around the town drinking, crashing cars and shooting their guns wildly – funny yes – but what the hell does it have to do with the plot? Another example finds our misfits at another party, at which Seth does some dirty dancing and Evan serenades some cokeheads. Sure it is loosely tied to trying to garner alcohol, but I figured devoting twenty minutes to it to be a bit excessive.
Trust me, I’m not trying to complain or find fault. Even with this loss of focus Superbad is a painfully, funny movie. It captures the Freaks and Geeks years we’ve all tried to forget without a hitch. Even people with a stick wedged up their asses (hello Christian conservatives) will find it impossible to not laugh out loud. I’m a firm believer that under the right circumstances, nudity, fart/shit/period jokes or using every curse word imaginable can put a movie over the top. It can be said, Superbad goes above and beyond, since it only lacks the nudity (hopefully the unrated DVD will fix that).
With movies like Knocked Up, and The 40 Year Old Virgin and now Superbad under their belts, I do believe there are new comedy giants in our midst. It couldn’t come at a better time either, because I for one, have grown weary of the Adam Sandler comedy.
Everyone needs a fix of raunchy humor now and again – get yours today.