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USA 2007
Directed by
Greg Mottola
114 minutes
Rated MA

Reviewed by
Andrew Lee
3.5 stars


Synopsis: Seth (Jonah Hill) and Evan (Michael Cera) are lifelong buddies. When Jules (Emma Stone) shows a little interest in Seth he volunteers to get booze for her party and Evan agrees to get booze for Becca (Martha MacIsaac). So they have a simple mission. Get booze, get the girls, and somehow stay friends despite everything going to hell.

A coming-of-age story about two geeks and their even nerdier friend Fogell (Christopher Mintz-Plasse), this is one of the most juvenile and obscene films of the year. And strangely, that’s not actually a bad thing. In fact it's quite entertaining certainly more so than its grounding in the hit 1999  teen sex comedy, American Pie and its three sequels would suggest.

Superbad is about a couple of kids obsessed with getting into the pants of their respective choices. For Seth it's Jess (Emma Stone) and for Evan, Becca (Martha McIsaac), The film opens with Seth announcing to his friend Evan which porn site he has decided to subscribe to when he goes to college next year. This is a good indicator of what follows. Jokes about booze, boobs, genitals and the stains that come from dirty dancing with women having their period are par for the course.

It would be a forgettable film if that were all it was, but fortunately it isn’t. Seth and Evan have been friends forever and now Evan is leaving to go to a college which slacker Seth has failed to get in. They’re going to be separated and the underlying tension in their relationship which this brings to the surface really sells a great story of two guys who can’t live without each other being forced to grow up and stand on their own. And the prism through which this all happens is the quest to get booze despite being underage.

The man love triangle-style relationship between Evan, Seth and Fogell is painful. Fogell got into the same college as Evan so they’re going to share a dorm. Seth is jealous, but can’t admit it because that would be gay. It grounds the outsized exploits and chaos in something meaningful. The screenplay was by Seth Rogen and Evan Goldman so the inference is that this is is based on the lads' own experiences,

The jokes are crass, but they’re effective. You’ll cringe as often as belly-laugh and that’s the fun of it - funny but awful at the same time. And when they finally reach the party and meet the girls it ratchets up the comedy of awkwardness. If you can’t relate on some level you’ve either never had a crush on an unattainable girl or your ego is seriously inflated. And the way the boys resolve the relationships between themselves and the girls is handled in the bittersweet way that actually manages to feel real.




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