Friday, September 17, 2010

Superbad (2007)

Dismissing Superbad back in 2007 wasn't quite a loss for me because I've never really been a fan of teen comedies. Much to my surprise, Superbad turned out to not only be enjoyable but also smart. Some will find the film extremely vulgar, but this element gives a certain depth to the film.

The story is centred on Seth (Jonah Hill) and Evan (Michael Cera), two virgin teenagers who are about to graduate from high school. Like most of their "yearmates", they're planning to go to "the last party" before graduation. This party will take place at the house of Jules (Emma Stone), a girl Seth with whom Seth wants to lose his virginity. As for Evan, he promised to Becca (Martha McIsaac) - a girl he's been liking for quite a while - that he'll come to the party.

Both Seth and Evan had respectively promised to Jules and Becca that they'll bring the booze. This is why Seth and Evan rely on their nerdy friend Fogell (Christopher Mintz-Plasse) only to discover that he has the least unconvincing fake ID card ever. While Fogell gets on a ride with two incompetent cops (Bill Hader and Seth Rogen) after he had paid for the drinks, Seth and Evan try to find another way to get drinks before getting to the party as quickly as possible. Along the way, their friendship gets tested. Obviously, there's nothing new about this film's story. We get to see two dudes who are so desperate to get laid. While Seth doesn't mind getting horizontal with a drunk girl, Evan, on the other hand, feels that a respectful sex involves two sober people. With such a simple premise, don't be surprised to see female characters who either want to party or have sex.

Despite a lack of depth with the female characters, Superbad is a smartly written comedy. In fact, with a disturbing line from Seth that says "You know when you hear girls say 'Ah man, I was so shit-faced last night, I shouldn't have fucked that guy?' We could be that mistake!", the film certainly looks crude. However, that crudeness - when it comes to dealing with sex - serves the purposes of showing how some boys' immaturity can look like in high school. Therefore, as much as the film makes you laugh or grin, it has the honesty to tackle some problems that exists. Moreover, the film's message gets to us quite well, because Jonah Hill has an indescribable trick to give life to such an unlikeable character.

In short, Superbad is definitely an entertaining film that is simultaneously funny and smart even though it deals with sex, the biggest literary, cinematographic or televisual third rail. Unfortunately, despite a good start, Superbad loses a lot of momentum in the middle only to regain it in the last act. Did the two scriptwriters - Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg - need to stretch the part when Fogell spends his time with the two incompetent (and uninteresting) cops played by Rogen and Hader before making it to the party? Hell, even Homer's Odyssey has a quicker pace (note: I've seen the play in high school)!

Rating: 3.5/5

Origin:USA (2007)
Length:113 minutes
Screenplay:Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg
Director:Greg Mottola
Starring:Jonah Hill, Michael Cera, Martha McIsaac and Emma Stone

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