Superbad reels in the teen trifecta: love, laughs and booze

By
October 1, 2007

Superbad is not a movie. It is an experience.

Good movies refresh clich‚d plots. And Superbad does just that. Its entire 114 minute run can be summed up in one sentence: two high school friends go to extremes so that they can buy enough alcohol for their prospective hotties to screw (and maybe love) them.

Why do I give this simplistic film that deserves its R-rating an A?

Unlike many of its fellows, Superbad’s raunchy humor has wit and emotion to match. It is a cross section of adolescence, made from the celluloid ripped out of the testosterone-ravished mind of a teen boy. In fact, the movie’s writers, Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg, created the script when they were thirteen.

I was lucky enough to watch this flick with my younger brother and his friends, all of whom are between the ages of sixteen and nineteen. Seeing the reactions of people who can identify with the situations that are portrayed on the screen really put the film in perspective.

While many sex comedies feature ample nudity, Superbad twists this standard by its nipples. This film must have the most drawings of penises ever put into an American mass market release, much to my brother and his male friends’ chagrin.

They spent most of this scene cringing in their seats, torn between laughter and shell shock. But they survived.

Those of us who were female appreciated the artistic value. After all, it is hard to make the same pecker look exactly like Abraham Lincoln and then a cowboy.

Superbad also shows just how scary a girl’s body is for guys. While dirty dancing, one of the protagonists is stained by a girl who either forgot to buy super absorbency tampons or was just too drunk to realize it was her time of the month.

All of the characters are average. Middle class girls must save up to buy booze, and boys worry about which porn website leaves the least offending name on mommy’s phone bill. No packs of jocks or bleach-blonde cheerleaders with skirts short enough to be belts show up to snub the nerdy protagonists.

As for the main characters, they were eerily close to people in my life.
Fogell, A.K.A. McLovin (Christopher Mintz-Plasse), looks and acts very much like one of my cousins. If I had not seen it in real life, I would think this level of glasses-wearing, vest sporting and whiny-voiced gawkiness was impossible.
Fogell is yet another movie nerd who becomes king for a day, but this time with the aid of a fake ID and two policemen (Bill Hader and actor/writer Rogen) whose disregard for the law make New Orleans cops seem like peons of justice. His exploits are manic enough to make him sympathetic.

In addition, in a film that is mostly simple direction from Greg Mottola and realistic locations, Fogell’s character is the only one to receive cool slow-motion shots like when he emerges from a police officer’s car with a cigarette dangling from his mouth.

The more talkative partner of the protagonists, Seth (Jonah Hill), is the carbon copy of my brother’s friend. Not only do both sport ginger-tinted afros and round figures, they have the same crude and manic sense of humor. And like a Blow-Pop, you can crack their nasty and hard shells to find the gooey sweetness in the center.
Evan (Michael Cera), the other protagonist, is more like me. As a nerd looking for my soul mate, I sympathize with his inability to shut off his brain and close his mouth.

His hilarious make-out session with his dream girl reads like a biology test with him providing commentary for every sensation.

While the two golden idols of the film, Jules (Emma Stone) and Becca (Martha MacIsaac), decently portray the sweet, if not slightly shallow, girls, their chemistry with their love interests cannot approach the honest and deep-rooted feelings between the protagonists.

Whether one is carrying his friend away from drunken revelers or professing undying friendship during a certain slumber party, the two boys are devotion personified. Why should they bother with the girls? Their soul mate is already in front of them. Even if they’d never admit it to their ladies.

Do the teens lose their virginity? I will not say, but every relationship in the film has its own realistic and slightly bittersweet ending.

Superbad may be bawdy, clich‚ and simplistic, but, as we have all come to find, so is adolescence. And that is the true beauty of the film.


Superbad reels in the teen trifecta: love, laughs and booze was published on October 1, 2007 in Arts & Entertainment

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