Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Superbad (2007)

It took me a while to get around to seeing this movie, and even longer to write about it. That’s probably because, while “Superbad” is superfunny and supercool, it doesn’t quite reach the heights of brilliance that some other films from the Judd Apatow universe have (e.g. “The 40-year-old Virgin,” and “Knocked Up”). Produced by Judd Apatow and based on a screenplay by Evan Goldberg (who wrote some episodes of “Da Ali G Show”) and Seth Rogen (who needs no introduction), “Superbad” is directed by Greg Mottola (who directed episodes of “Arrested Development” as well as some episodes of Apatow’s “Undeclared”) That’s quite a pedigree, folks, and it produced a movie that is a hilarious good time, even if it isn’t super-deep.

Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg didn’t waste a lot of creativity naming the main characters; “Superbad” follows the exploits of Seth (Jonah Hill) and Evan (Michael Cera), a couple of high school omega males preparing to graduate. These dorks enjoy flirtations with a couple of improbably hot babes, and get the chance to impress said babes by providing the booze for a graduation party. The only problem is that their ticket to that booze is their skinny friend Fogell (Chris Mintz-Plasse) and his fake ID, which claims he is McLovin (no last name), a 25-year-old, Hawaiian organ donor. Hilarity and a wild night ensue. Rogen and Bill Hader appear as a pair of fun-lovin’ cops, and Joe Lo Truglio from “The State” plays a creepy sex-offender.

By the end, “Superbad” degenerates a little into some sappy bromance stuff. I know this is intended to be sensitive and all, but it treads too much into After-School-Special territory for me. Still, the trip there is a great time.

I enjoy these “wild night” movies, in the tradition of “American Graffiti” and “Dazed and Confused.” The truth is, most of the long story arcs in our lives are too fraught with stops, starts, and overthinking to make great theater, but we can all identify with that “wild night” when anything can and does happen. That’s the part of “Superbad” that will keep me coming back for repeat viewings.

4 stars.

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