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Superbad

Superbad

What She said:

She

Talk about vulgar, I cannot even begin to describe how disgusting, immoral, and offensive this movie is.  Fortunately, it’s about the trials and tribulations of a couple of 18 year old boys, and so, while a bit jarring, the vulgarities of Superbad seem surprisingly appropriate. 

The film follows best friends, Seth and Evan, as they finish up the final weeks of their senior year of high school.  These kids have been besties for a long time, and are practically inseparable, but college is looming on the horizon and that means lots of change.  For one thing, Seth didn’t get into the same college as Evan, and so they won’t even be seeing each other anymore.  Instead, Evan is going to be hanging out with lame-o Fogell, who is a major geek.  The movie begins to revolve around this big party that the boys were sort of peripherally invited to, if they bring the alcohol.  Seth, Evan, and Fogell go on an adventure that takes them across town and through a maze of interactions as they attempt to get to the party in time and woo their women.  Hilarity ensues.

I cannot say that Superbad really reminded me of high school.  There are so many differences between my experience at that age and those kids’, it’s not even relatable.  I guess I just had different priorities.  Anyway, that doesn’t mean the movie isn’t funny.  It’s meant to be pretty over the top, although I imagine these types of scenarios really go do down.  Jonah Hill plays Seth, who is needy and actually so perverse that it’s borderline creepy.  Michael Cera is Evan, and in typical Cera form he’s sort of bumbly and geeky, yet lovable.  It’s Christopher Mintz-Plasse as Fogell, who really steals the show.  You can tell the kid is a closet genius, and yet is so outwardly stupid that it’ll crack you up.  He gets a fake ID with the name McLovin on it.  Who does that?  Mintz-Plasse has some great interactions with two cops played by Seth Rogan and Bill Hader. 

Some of the words that come out of these teens’ mouths are cringeworthy, and yet it masks what is a pretty meaningful plot theme—approaching that moment in life when you have to stop being a kid and start being an adult, and from which you can never go back (sorry Officers Slater and Michaels).  The movie also has a lot to do with friendship, its vulnerabilities, and its enduring strength.  But you might not get all that the first time you watch it.  You’ll be too shocked by all the sex, sex, sex.  The movie still has its super funny moments.

Thumbs up.

What He said:

He

Once or twice every generation there comes a movie that defines your teenage years. The 80s had The Breakfast Club (though I always liked Can’t Buy Me Love better), the late 90s had Can’t Hardly Wait, and so far in this new millennium we have Superbad. It doesn’t matter if you were a geek, a popular kid, or something in the middle; these movies usually have something for us all to identify with.

Superbad is the tale of a group of friends and their attempt to make some memories as their high school career comes to a close. Graduation isn’t too far off and the summer is about to begin. It doesn’t happen too often, but social outcasts Evan (Michael Cera) and Seth (Jonah Hill) actually get invited to a party. They immediately accept, but also find themselves in something of a hole. Seth promises Jules (Emma Stone) he can score her some booze for her party. The only problem is…you guessed it, he’s not 21. Luckily for him and Evan their sometimes friend and sidekick Fogell (Christopher Mintz-Plasse) has recently scored himself a fake ID and thus McLovin is born. Seth and Evan each have a gal of their own they are hoping to impress, so they furious when he sees that Fogell has taken such a serious opportunity to up their cool factor and potentially squandered it by choosing a name as unbelievable as McLovin. I love this scene. It is one of the many that really captures the mindset of an unpopular teenage guy quite well. Here they are, on the cusp of immortality, and Fogell may have ruined everything by his questionable decision to change his name. Comedic gold I tell ya!

Next comes the moment of truth! We find out if it’s actually going to work or not. Mintz-Plasse is freaking brilliant in this scene. Fogell does end up getting the booze, but not in the way you think. He gets separated from Seth and Evan. They think he got busted by the cops, but he really ends up going on the biggest adventure of his life when he meets two insanely unprofessional cops played by Seth Rogen and Bill Hader. They offer to take him where he was going, but the three of them get sidetracked on a series of misadventures that is bound to entertain you. It is during this period in the movie that Fogell really does evolve into McLovin. Evan and Seth are your main characters and they are certainly funny, but the adventures of McLovin and the two cops steal the show. They could make a whole movie about these three.

Seth and Evan aren’t to be forgotten though. Fearing that McLovin has been arrested, they have to come up with another way of scoring some booze. They end up at some completely insane house party in the middle of nowhere. One of the partygoers promises them some booze, but things quickly spiral out of control and they are thrust into the middle of a brawl with a bunch of lunatics.

There are a few reasons I really like this movie. First, it is funny as hell. Raunchy yes, but funny. As my partner points out, the raunchy humor has a place. The movie is about a bunch of teenage boys, how do you expect them to act? Additionally, I love these adventure types of comedies. There is something immensely satisfying about watching a bunch of characters embark on some kind of journey. It just leads to some amusing antics. Finally, this movie actually has a story. It’s not just about their goal of making it to the big party, but also about the end of an era. They are about to close out their high school life and begin their college years and they don’t know where that is going to take them.

If you haven't seen this movie or haven't seen it in a while, do yourself a favor and watch it. Here's the trailer to refresh your memory.

Rating: Thumbs up.

This movie review was written for your reading pleasure on April 4, 2012.