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PopEntertainment.com > Reviews > Movie Reviews > Superbad

MOVIE REVIEWS

SUPERBAD (2007)

Starring Jonah Hill, Michael Cera, Christopher Mintz-Plasse, Bill Hader, Seth Rogen, Martha MacIsaac, Emma Stone, Aviva, Joe Lo Truglio, Kevin Corrigan, Clement Blake, Erica Vittina Phillips and Joe Nunez.

Screenplay by Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg.

Directed by Greg Mottola.

Distributed by Columbia Pictures. 112 minutes.  Rated R.

Superbad

Superbad is, simply, the best teen sex comedy since the first American Pie.

In fact, if you get technical, it has about the same plotline.  However, that's okay, almost every teen sex comedy has the same story - nerdy teen boys trying to lose their virginity.  Yet, Superbad brings enough of its own warped sensibility and stands on its own as a hip and funny look at the mating rituals of teens.

Written over a period of fifteen years by Seth Rogen (Knocked Up) and his childhood best friend, Evan Goldberg, Superbad is supposed to be an autobiographical look at these two outsiders' teen years.  The main characters even share names with the writers. 

Rogen is way too old to play the role now, so instead he gave the character to Jonah Hill (also of Knocked Up.)  Michael Cena (previously best known as Jason Bateman's shy son from Arrested Development) takes on the part of the best friend.  Rogen gave himself the role of one of a pair of rogue cops - frankly the only characters in the film which are completely unbelievable cartoons, though admittedly sometimes very funny.

The storyline - what little of one there is - has the two teens needing to get some alcohol to supply a blow-out graduation party, all to win over the beautiful hostess of the bash and a cute girl party-goer.  The guys are sure that this act will win the two girls over and allow them to lose their virginity before college.  So they get an uber-nerd friend (a scene stealing role by Christopher Mintz-Plasse) to help them get fake IDs - leading to a wild series of adventures.

Of course, Superbad does suffer from the one writing blind spot which seems to pop up in every Judd Apatow/Seth Rogen film - the insistence that the hot girls will not only be unattached but more than willing to give the fat and dorky boys a real shot.  In fact, here Becca (Martha MacIsaac) and Jules (Emma Stone) - stunners who could choose from any guy - are practically throwing themselves at two of the biggest losers in the school.  Hey, look, I'm a nerdy guy, too.  I love the idea that this could actually happen in the world.  It doesn't make it any less of a fantasy, though. 

However, in the newfangled world of gross-out comedies with a heart - most of which are made by some of the guys behind Superbad - this movie is significantly better than Knocked Up, which came out earlier this summer with the same co-writer, executive producers and some of the same co-stars - and with much higher expectations.  Superbad does not pretend to have its slobs try to figure out everything important in life like that film tried to.  There is one uncomfortable but luckily short scene where the drunk teens mushily acknowledge their love for each other - the only small example of the other film's much-too-broad sentimental streak.  Nonetheless this film feels much more like real life.  And it's funnier, to boot.

Jay S. Jacobs

Copyright 2007 PopEntertainment.com.  All rights reserved.  Posted: August 27, 2007.

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Copyright 2007   PopEntertainment.com.  All rights reserved.  Posted: August 27, 2007.