I didn’t get to see Judd Apatow’s critically acclaimed “Knocked Up” in theaters (out on DVD in September), so I wanted to make sure I saw “Superbad”, a film that was less anticipated by the American public. When I posted the trailer back in May I predicted it would be the sleeper hit of the summer and from the looks of the box office and the response of the public, I was right.
The film features two particular actors who I’ve been paying attention to for a while now. Jonah Hill plays Seth, a sex-obsessed, dirty mouthed high school senior who only wants to get laid. I’ve been following his career since his “I Heart Huckabees” debut and I’ve seen many of his films up until now (The 40-Year Old Virgin, Accepted, Grandma’s Boy). Michael Cera plays his best friend Evan, a shyer teen with a less filthy mouth but still constantly thinking about sex and parties. Cera played George Michael Bluth on the late genius show “Arrested Development” and he was always one of my favorite characters due to his deadpan delivery and his comic timing. Both of them have perfect timing, and that is one of the things that has kept getting them jobs (more Hill than Cera). The two characters that they play are also the most realistic teen characters I’ve ever seen in a teen comedy. Nothing that they say is too over the top or unbelievable at all, but everything they say is absolutely hilarious.
Anyways, the film is the perfect comedy. It’s almost 2 hours long but the entire film is filled with funny from beginning to end, and it never lets up. Seth Rogen’s script is a lot less interested in the traps that Judd Apatow seems to sometimes get himself into (the second half of “Virgin” gets a little corny and boring, but I love that film anyways). The film has a lot of heart but it’s disguised in this teen comedy and the scenes that bring this across aren’t dragged out and usually end in Jonah Hill making a comment about boobs or cock (yes, cock). The film, directed by indie director Greg Mottola, never gets boring and when it’s over you find yourself wanting more (but not in a bad way). Like I said, there is a heart to this movie. Seth and Evan got into different colleges and there is a lot of pent up feelings that create an awkward tension. The comedies that have been so critically acclaimed lately all have that awkwardness to them and this is no exception. I truly cared about these characters, and you can sincerely believe that there are deep relationships between Seth and Evan and of course… McLovin.
Newcomer Christopher Mintz-Plasse plays Fogel a.k.a. McLovin, the extremely nerdy kid who says things like “jigga what” and thinks he’s cooler than he really is. Mintz-Plasse does a terrific job with this role. A lot of other kids could have played this role and done well, but he totally knocked it out of the park from his delivery to the hilarious looks of fear that he is able to pull off when he comes up against the cops. The cops are played by the film’s screenwriter Seth Rogen and SNL player Bill Hader. The film is a throwback to the teen comedies of the 70s and 80s in many respects especially in the scenes with the cops and McLovin.
This film is a much bigger crowd pleaser than the previous Apatow films. My favorite aspect of this movie is its plot. The plot is very thin: two high school seniors who have to get beer to get the girls. That’s it! That is what this movie is about, but the acting and the writing are so hilarious and winning that you totally forget about the plot all together and find yourself just having tons of fun. The music is also terrific, and Mottola used a lot of slow motion scenes with totally sweet 70s music to create a very cool mood. Hill and Cera both are potential box office gold (something that was said about Rogen after “Knocked Up”) right now. I loved this movie, and I strongly suggest seeing it in the theater because it’s a terrific experience. I also wanted to say that a lot of what is shown in the previews and commercials are not in the movie, but instead there are much filthier and hilarious lines instead. I give “Superbad” an A!