Director: Greg Mottola
Cast: Jonah Hill, Michael Cera, Emma Stone, Seth Rogen, Bill Hader, Martha MacIsaac and Christopher Mintz-Plasse as McLovin
Plot: Two teenagers realise their one chance at becoming popular and getting the two girls of their dreams involves securing the alcohol for a house party.
When I finally got around to watching Superbad, I must say, it didn’t quite live up to the hype surrounding it. How could it? Some call it the funniest comedy of that decade, when really it is little more than a bog standard teen comedy. However, I do admit that it is probably the best teen comedy since American Pie.
In many ways, it is probably better than American Pie, at least to the next generation. American Pie is my favourite teen comedy for nostalgic reasons. Like many kids my age, it was the first teen movie I watched and for that reason, it opened my eyes to that genre (and the idea of Willow being a dominatrix – thank you, movies!). However, fond memories aside, American Pie is made of romance clichés and hollow characters. Superbad feels more relevant and for that reason, it is an above average effort. It features securing alcohol for underage drinking, fake IDs and the romance is little more than a high school crush, which are all much easier plot points to emphasise with. The acting is good and the jokes feel genuine. So yes, while I do not feel the same way about this movie as a lot of people do, I do understand why it has right to the claim of someone’s favourite comedy.
The best thing about Superbad is the bromance at the heart of it. I don’t think much of Jonah Hill and Michael Cera as actors – they seem to get a load of laughs, without really working overly hard for them – but here, they both give the performances of a lifetime. It does help that Superbad asks them to play the roles they are best at, but the movie takes these caricatures and inject so much life into them. I love how when the jokes are done, the film shares a quiet moment with the audience to reflect on the relationship between the two friends. Both are slackers, but Michael Cera has ambitions for college somewhere, meaning that he is leaving town and in Hill’s eyes ‘abandoning’ him. It is heart-breaking, when these two people confront this issue, after spending the entire movie dancing around the subject. While the film could have wrapped this plot point up a little quicker to hit perfection, it is a touching ending with these friends disappearing around the corner and potentially seeing each other for the last time.
McLovin is the part of the movie where my appreciation for Superbad begins to falter. I love McLovin as a character and he is so funny that I see where people are coming from, when he is celebrated as one of the best things about the movie. Every line that comes out of his mouth is so weird that it is funny. However, I personally think he is over-used. He is Superbad’s Brick Tamland and personally I liked Brick, because the writers didn’t realise how much of a goldmine he was, during the making of the original Anchorman. However, here, the writers are banking on McLovin being a hit. Therefore if you instantly fall in love with the character, good news, because there is a whole side plot involving the character and his wacky adventures. However, if you are personally enjoying the main storyline between Seth and Evan, then McLovin will slowly evolve into an annoying distraction. Maybe the bigger problem are the two cops, attempting to be funny with McLovin in his scenes. I like Seth Rogen as much as the next guy, but here, he is just asked to be funny, without giving him any real material to work with. Therefore, both Rogen and Hader just miss the mark completely and turn into a wasted use of the film’s running time.
Final Verdict: Nowhere near as impressive as it is made out to be, but Superbad is still a well-acted teen comedy with a lot more heart than any other contender in the genre.