‘Superbad’ is super funny
Superbad has made quite a splash at the box office this summer, grossing over $68.6M domestically since it’s release just over a week ago. It’s also become one of the most hyped movies around and is currently ranked at #1 on IMDb’s MOVIEMeter Top 10 list. Critics are saying that it could usher in a new era in comedy and many have labeled it the best movie of the year.
The teen-movie plot is about two nerdy high school BFFs, Evan and Seth, played by break-out stars Jonah Hill and Arrested Development’s Michael Cera, who go on a mission to provide alcohol for a graduation party in hopes of losing their virginity. To accomplish their goal, they send their uber-nerd friend Fogell (played superbly by Christopher Mintz-Plasse) to buy the alcohol using his new fake ID which identifies him only as McLovin, the Hawaiian organ donor.
It seems like things will work out for our heroes until McLovin is knocked out when the liquor store he’s in is robbed. Evan and Seth flee the scene, assuming McLovin will get arrested. The two cops who respond to the call end up befriending McLovin and escorting him on the wildest night of his life. Meanwhile, Evan and Seth are taken on a journey of their own in their quest to procure the coveted booze.
The script was written by Knocked Up star Seth Rogen and his friend Evan Goldberg when they were only thirteen. Rogen also appears in the film as one of the police officers, along with SNL‘s Bill Hader.
The teen movie genre is so tired. Ever since the 80s, every teen comedy has involved boys on a quest to get drunk and get laid. What makes Superbad so miraculous is that it can play within these rules and change the game at the same time. Every time you think the story is about to go in the same predictable direction, it takes a turn towards something different.
Case in point, you assume that McLovin won’t be leaving the liquor store with any alcohol, and he ends up leaving with two bags of liquor and a police escort to the party. In another scene, Seth is getting nasty on the dance floor with a girl (played by Carla Gallo of Undeclared fame) at a totally different party. You assume that he’s going to hook up with this anonymous floozy, only to find that she’s had her period on his leg while they were bumping and grinding and he’s completely horrified.
Aside from plot points, Superbad is incredibly refreshing in terms of it’s comedic tone and genuine feel. The boys behave like real high school kids, not 35-year-old actors pretending to be high school kids. Films like American Pie play up every joke to the point where it feels like parody. By contrast, every line in Superbad feels natural and realistic.
Superbad more than lives up to the hype. At about five minutes in, I was already sure that it would be the funniest movie I would see this year. It’s young stars are sure to blossom into major comedic celebrities, and I wouldn’t be surprised if “I’m McLovin” becomes the new “Vote for Perdo”.