Superbad is Simply Super! Review of Superbad

Seth [Jonah Hill], Evan [Michael Cera] and Fogell [Christopher Mintz-Plasse] are losers who hope to take advantage of Fogell’s freshly minted fake ID to score the booth for a spontaneous party being hosted by Seth’s dreamgirl, Jules [Emma Stone]. Evan plans to attend in hopes that the girl he lusts after, Becca [Martha MacIsaac], will be so impressed that he and Seth and Fogell have brought the booze for the party that she’ll be amenable to at least some form of advances [the girl has been flirting madly with him, but he seems oblivious!]. Superbad is, essentially, the adventures of the three as they try to (a) corral the booze; (b) get it to the party, and (c) reap the benefits of being cool enough to do (a) and (b). The movie follows two arcs: Fogell’s adventures following being punched by a robber just as he’s about to pay for booze using his spiffy new one-name [McLovin] ID; Seth and Evan’s arc follows the two as they attempt to get some booze after seeing what they think is Fogell getting busted for trying to buy


Bill Hader and the film’s co-writer Seth Rogen play a couple of gregarious cops who seem to buy McLovin’s ID [because he’s an organ donor!] and offer to give him a lift to the party before becoming involved in episodes that may cost you a major organ rupture from laughter. Unlike Fogell, whose adventures pretty much come to him, Seth and Evan are taken to theirs following an accident [Seth, it seems, has a penchant for getting hit by cars]. Review of Superbad - McLovin

In both arcs, the laughs come fast and furious. Like Apatow Productions’ other hit this summer, Knocked Up, Superbad is a grotesquery with a heart of gold. The language is as foul as it gets – pretty much what I heard in high school [long enough ago to give one pause] and the physical gags involve vomit as much as anything else, but the characters have a surprising inner decency that allows them to emerge from their adventures in a better place – and they are smart enough to recognize this.

Director Greg Mottola has taken the Rogen/Evan Goldberg script [which was begun when the two were thirteen – which might be why it feels so real] and paces it beautifully. Somehow, he hits almost every gag and every genuine emotional beat perfectly. There are a few moemtns when it seems like the cops are just a little too much over the top, but some unexpected moments near the end of the movie more than make up for that.

Hill and Cera do a great job as Seth and Evan, but Mintz-Plasse is the real find here [we already know about Cera from Arrested Development, and Hill has had some great moments in other films – including Knocked Up]. Fogell/McLovin gets the ridealong of his young life as the two idiot cops get him into almost as much trouble as he was hoping for – only in a more high schoolish context. Although I loved this movie, the one character I’d pay to see again is this one [but, hopefully wisdom will prevail and Rogen and Goldberg won’t write a sequel – always leave ‘em wanting more, y’know…].

Final Grade: A-


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