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Overall Rating
4.29

Awesome56.52%
Worth A Look: 31.88%
Average: 1.45%
Pretty Bad: 4.35%
Total Crap: 5.8%

6 reviews, 33 user ratings


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Superbad
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by Rob Gonsalves

"Superokay."
4 stars

What does it say about this era of lowered expectations that a comedy managing to be consistently amusing and occasionally insightful is lionized by the press as if it were the second coming of Preston Sturges?

Superbad, the latest Internet darling from the factory of anointed-god-of-comedy producer Judd Apatow (The 40-Year-Old Virgin, Knocked Up), gets most of its charge out of its two leads, Jonah Hill and Michael Cera. Hill is a mini-Seth Rogen, which makes sense, since the loudmouthed, strenuously horny kid he’s playing (named Seth) is an analogue for co-screenwriter Rogen. The sweetly nervous Cera, meanwhile, is playing Evan, a quieter, smarter type, though no less awkward in the presence of girls. The other screenwriter is Evan Goldberg; he and Rogen started writing the script when they were thirteen. For a long while, Superbad feels — in a good way — like the product of sex-soaked thirteen-year-old minds.

High school is running out its clock, and our young heroes are desperate to get some action before leaving for college. (They won’t be heading off together — Evan got accepted to Dartmouth, Seth didn’t.) Seth figures the only way he’s going to get lucky is by getting a girl drunk, and when a crush of his (Emma Stone) invites him to her grad party, he agrees to bring the liquor. To do that, Seth and Evan need the help of geeky associate Fogell (Christopher Mintz-Plasse, who steals the movie), who gets himself a fake ID that renames him, inexplicably and hilariously, McLovin (no first name). The boys run into their share of obstacles, naturally, including a pair of goofball cops (Bill Hader and Rogen himself) and a bizarre adult party with the most memorable use of menstrual terror since Carrie.

For all its R-rated talk about porn and genitalia, Superbad is part of an honorable ah-when-we-were-young tradition encompassing Richard Linklater’s Dazed and Confused, George Lucas’ American Graffiti, Rob Reiner’s Stand by Me, and the granddaddy of them all, Fellini’s I Vitelloni (1953). In all of these, the comedy lies in slacker boys at the crossroads between goofing off and moving on into adulthood. A sort of melancholic nostalgia blankets these films — adjust the age a bit and all of them could end with Stand by Me’s epigram, “I never had any friends later on like the ones I had when I was twelve. Jesus, does anyone?” The exception to this sort of looking-back-fondly subgenre was Animal House, which couldn’t have cared less about redemption via maturity or lessons learned.

Judd Apatow wants us to know that such redemption — signified by pairing up with a Good Woman and ultimately having kids — is possible for anyone, whether man-children like Steve Carell in Virgin and Rogen in Knocked Up or actual teens like Seth and Evan. The last half hour of Superbad becomes a bit soggy with retrospective wisdom. The two boys confess their love for each other — totally hetero and platonic, of course, just like the Spartans in 300 — and the girls they’re interested in take their hands and pull them off in separate directions. End of movie, though perhaps Seth and Evan will collaborate on a screenplay later on. Like Apatow’s other hits, Superbad indulges in dialogue that would embarrass Larry Flynt and situations that would mortify Tom Green, then turns around and reassures us it’s all okay because the characters Grow and Learn Something. Did Bluto grow? Did Bill Murray learn anything in Stripes or Meatballs?

On the basis of Apatow’s output, it would appear that he sees male bonding as raffishly funny and profane but something that must be left behind for male-female relationships. What isn’t clear is what the males and females see in each other, especially in Superbad, in which the idea of Emma Stone pairing off with Jonah Hill is — with apologies to Jonah Hill — even more unlikely than Seth Rogen settling down with Katherine Heigl. Of the three Apatow hits, I prefer Superbad, which gains in the writing department from Seth Rogen’s robust raunch and, I presume, Evan Goldberg’s attention to weird details and social disasters.

At its best it’s naggingly and obscenely funny, but its “heart” fails to convince. Maybe the thirteen-year-olds’ screenplay should’ve been filmed as it was.

link directly to this review at http://www.efilmcritic.com/review.php?movie=16125&reviewer=416
originally posted: 08/20/07 10:46:09
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User Comments

5/02/12 Chimy Changa you dont know what funny is if you dont like this movie 5 stars
8/01/11 Piz No matter how many times I watch it, it's still dumb. A wanna be American Pie with gratuity 2 stars
10/09/10 art SUPER is RIGHT! 4 stars
2/08/10 Monday Morning Some hysterical moments - well worth seeing. Great coming-of-age story. 4 stars
3/30/09 R Lan typical teen sex comedy, but well done and has some funny moments. 4 stars
1/09/09 Anonymous. i am mclovin :] 4 stars
8/11/08 Jon G Overrated - Highly Unrealistic events are not amusing to me 1 stars
3/25/08 Jessica Biel's Poolboy Emma Stone is hot!!! McLovin' was hilarious 5 stars
1/09/08 BoyinTheDesignerBubble Foul mouthed teens don't impress me. Maybe if I were a perv, I'd find this a good movie! 1 stars
1/07/08 Dina Wow, talk about overrated - don't bother. 2 stars
1/03/08 lazaro garrote the movie superbad was dynomite 5 stars
12/09/07 Alice Total crap,food for low self-esteem girls and brain dead oversexed guys. 1 stars
12/05/07 action movie fan vulgar and funny teen fantasy-comedy-lots of laughs 4 stars
12/04/07 mike Superbad was Supergood! I laughed all the way through! Best comedy in years! 5 stars
12/03/07 SamanthaP this movie is sooooo true, this represents the younger days of my lives 5 stars
11/11/07 b. goldberg just so funny 5 stars
10/24/07 William Goss Foul-mouthed and funny portrait of platonic teens and the night of their lives. 4 stars
9/24/07 Jason Michael Cera makes this movie, he is a big star on the rise. 4 stars
9/10/07 Simon Don't go moralistic and cry date rape, it's a movie, just laugh your ass off. I did. 5 stars
8/30/07 samuel there's no date rape plan..funny, real goings-on in mouth gender's minds..no female hating. 5 stars
8/27/07 Ole Man Bourbon Funny for the low-brow, juvenile tone. Some recycled jokes from the other Apatow movs, tho 4 stars
8/25/07 kiran very funny movie 5 stars
8/24/07 Lattechino Yeah, pretty much a movie about a kid planning a date rape. Why is that funny? 2 stars
8/21/07 Anthony G Hilarious. 5 stars
8/21/07 Stacy That wasn't date rape, yo. Anyway, great movie, hilarious and real! 5 stars
8/21/07 hurhur date rape so funny hurrrhurrrr 1 stars
8/20/07 Greg Absolutely one of the funniest movies ever made 5 stars
8/20/07 mark madsen funny movie 4 stars
8/20/07 Meschelle Needed to be rated more than a r. 3 stars
8/19/07 Shane this movie made me cry...... FROM AWESOMENESS!!! 5 stars
8/19/07 Mahalie This was without a doubt the funniest movie I've ever seen. 5 stars
8/18/07 Dark Enchantress funny movie, the cops were awesome! 5 stars
8/17/07 G Lee truly had its funny moments... laughed out loud... totally mindless fun 4 stars
IF YOU'VE SEEN THIS FILM, RATE IT!
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USA
  17-Aug-2007 (R)
  DVD: 04-Dec-2007

UK
  14-Sep-2007 (15)

Australia
  20-Sep-2007



[trailer] Trailer


Directed by
  Greg Mottola

Written by
  Evan Goldberg
  Seth Rogen

Cast
  Jonah Hill
  Michael Cera
  Christopher Mintz-Plasse
  Bill Hader
  Seth Rogen



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