Directed by: Greg Mottola
Premise: A pair of high school pals (Jonah Hill and Michael Cera) attempt to get with their crushes by getting themselves invited to a party and agreeing to provide alcohol.
What Works: Superbad is a very good comedy. The film involves a number of the talents behind The 40 Year Old Virgin and Knocked Up, including co-writer and co-star Seth Rogan and producer Judd Apatow, and Superbad shows a lot of the better qualities of those films, including punchy dialogue, great one-liners, silly but lovable characters, and an earnest sensibility that offsets the raunchiness. The casting and acting in the film are dead on. Jonah Hill and Michael Cera are great together as a pair of misfits and they come across as distinct characters both from each other and within the teen sex comedy genres. Christopher Mintz-Plasse plays a third friend who attempts to score alcohol with a fake identification card and ends up spending the night with a pair of cops who appear to believe that he is a legitimate adult. Mintz-Plasse’s character goes through the greatest development and he gets a lot of the best moments of the film, many of them with Seth Rogan and Bill Hader as two goofy police officers.
What Doesn’t: Superbad is not as funny as other films produced by Apatow and company. It does have a lot of great, laugh out loud moments, but they do not build as successfully as some of their other work. If the film has any other weakness, it is in the treatment of the female characters. At times the film steers in the direction of Porky’s-style misogyny but then pulls itself out, especially in the finale. But throughout the duration of the film, women don’t get much character development and are left to the periphery of the story.
Bottom Line: Although it runs a bit long, Superbad is a solid comedy in the vein of American Pie. It satisfies both those looking for crude humor but also those who like a little more to their comedies than raunchy humor.
Episode: #153 (August 19, 2007)