Superbad is Porky’s for a new generation. It’s a throwback to the teen comedies we used to love before John Hughes got his hands on the genre and smoothed out the rough edges. It’s rude, has no boundaries and is laugh out loud funny.
Seth (Jonah Hill) and Evan (Brampton, Ontario born Michael Cera) are BFFs with just weeks to go before their high school graduation. In the waning days of their high school careers they decide to launch a full scale mission to land girlfriends and get some much needed experience with the opposite sex before heading to college in the fall.
When the class hottie Jules invites them to a party, they’re thrilled. There’s just one problem, she asks them to bring alcohol. That’s were their nerdy friend Fogell (Christopher Mintz-Plasse) come in. He’s the classic pencil necked geek and a chick repellant, but he’s the only one with a fake ID and access to booze.
The bulk of the film follows the exploits of this trio as they try and score alcohol so they can in turn score some girls. Underage, but blinded by their sex drives, they risk it all against slacker cops, a maniacal homeless man and jealous boyfriends to track down booze for their dates. It’s the stuff that parent’s nightmares are made of.
Superbad is shouldn’t work as well as it does. It’s the kind of coming-of-age flick Hollywood has been churning out for years, but it has a few things going for it that make it worthwhile.
First, it was co-written by Knocked Up’s Seth Rogen, who also plays one of the cops. Rogen and childhood pal Evan Goldberg penned Superbad while still in high school, and like Knocked Up the raunchy humor here plays off the more human aspect of the relationships between the friends. The kids in American Pie were funny, but unrealistic in unrealistic situations. Ditto Road Trip and most other teen comedies made in the last ten years, but Superbad succeeds because it treats its characters like real people—albeit real people who do crazy things because they are ruled by their hormones.
The script is smart and funny, the direction solid, but it is the three lead actors, Hill, Cera and Mintz-Plasse that really sell this movie. Hill’s comic timing is bang on; Cera, so excellent as George Michael on the late, great Arrested Development is in top deadpan form as the straight-laced Evan while Mintz-Plasse, in his first acting role, could give Anthony Michael Hall a run for his money as the King of the Movie Nerds. These three play off one another really well, building a believable relationship that is by turns hilarious, by turns touching, but above all convincing.
Super funny, and super vulgar, Superbad is the funniest movie I’ve seen in a long time. I’m McLovin’ It! (You’ll have to see the movie to get the joke.)