So I watched Superbad…
Believe it or not, this was my first time watching this movie. Which is even more surprising because I was a teen when it came out. I remember my friends all going on about it and I kept promising to watch it but ended up taking over a decade to fulfill that promise. Anyway, better late than never I suppose.
Okay, basic plot: Seth (Jonah Hill) and Evan (Michael Cera) are two teens in their last year of high school who are eager to lose their virginities before going off to college. Neither of them are exactly Casanovas and decide that their best bet at having sex with anything other than their right hands is to hook up with a drunk girl at a party. Luckily for them, their friend, Fogell (Christopher Mintz-Plasse), has recently acquired a fake ID and can now supply them with all the alcohol they need to get a girl drunk enough to have sex.
I’m just gonna come out and say it, this movie’s plot hasn’t aged that well hey. This entire film’s premise is about a bunch of men (well boys actually) hoping to get girls drunk so that the girls will agree to have sex with them. It all feels a bit rapey hey. But maybe I’m being too critical. This is meant to be a fun, silly comedy about a bunch of teenage boys hopped up on hormones and the ridiculous, often life-threatening heights they’ll go to for a chance at sex.
This movie is funny most of the time and I think the jokes work well due to the combination of a truly funny script and great comedic actors. My favourite performance out of the lot was Michael Cera’s. The man is awkwardness personified and really shines as Evan. Even when he isn’t trying to be funny he makes me crack up just because of his natural comedic talents and idiosyncratic delivery of lines. Jonah Hill is also worth a laugh as Evan’s more brash bestfriend, Seth. I think both characters form a great summary of what it feels like to be a teenage boy. Brash and arrogant but simultaneously introverted and awkward.
There’s also plenty of humorous stars in the film’s supporting roles with talents like Seth Rogen, Bill Hader and Emma Stone filling up the film’s cast and doing well to make us laugh whenever on screen. I also have to single out Christopher Mintz-Plasse who is one of the standouts as Foggell/McLovin. McLovin instantly becomes one of the dumbest and my favourite part of this movie. Mintz-Plasse is deliciously nerdy and completes the Holy Nerd Trinity beautifully.
This film was written by Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg and is loosely based on the pair’s experiences in their final year of high school. The script is funny and has a very genuine feel to it but does at times feel a bit self-indulgent. It can be a real shame when a big studio exec reads a film’s script or sees an early draft of a film and cuts it down so it can fit the mainstream formula better. However, in this film’s case, I think a bit of pruning was definitely called for. I don’t mind a long movie as long as it’s filled with quality and entertainment value but the second I have to ask, “when is this thing going to end?” or check a film’s runtime, I know it’s too long. This film is seven minutes shy of being two hours and I think it should have have been about ten to fifteen minutes shorter.
There’s moments, especially in the film’s second half when you feel like scenes are been dragged out or simply superfluous. I think if the film had a tighter runtime and removed some of its excess, it would have worked better and had less stretches between jokes because in these stretches, you start analysing its plot and realising just how stupid it is.
Overall, Superbad is one of those dumb teen movies that’s worth a laugh. A few of its jokes and overall plot haven’t aged well and just scream of patriarchy and rape culture. I’m all for a dumb, fun movie but there were plenty of moments that made me cringe. It’s worth watching for the quality of the comedic acting but nothing more really. 6/10