Finally saw Superbad – hey don’t blame me for being late. I’ve been stuck in TIFF screenings for the past week, seeing movies as early as 9 am in theatres and as late as 3am on my DVD player in the middle of the night. The last thing I’ve wanted to do is watch a movie “for pleasure.” But after a bunch of art films yesterday, I needed a laugh.
I don’t know what else there is to add about the film, but I haven’t howled like that at a movie all year. Even Ratatouille, which will (like Superbad) probably make my Top 10 Movies list, didn’t get me laughing quite as hard (although that Proustian moment near the end is arguably the funniest flashback sequence ever).
So Superbad. Yes, raunchy as hell, but what’s great is how un-mean-spirited it is. These guys have self-respect, self-awareness (okay, Fogell/McLovin maybe doesn’t, but his cocky grin makes up for it) and don’t mean anyone harm.
And unlike so many movie characters, they actually have a goal! You really do wonder, when Seth and Evan are out on their pre-party odyssey, whether they’re going to get the booze and make it to the party. Or whether Fogell will make it, too. It’s the perfect end-of-summer movie (I can see why the studio released it in August), when you want to grasp on to every last bit of vacation and do something wild because it. Could. Be. The. Last. Time. Ever.
It’s great to have a teen sex comedy that’s sweet, doesn’t offer any PSA-style moral and has characters you actually root for. (I found my laughter got stronger as I got to know the guys better). And did I mention funny?
Jonah Hill’s Seth was maybe a little too belligerant right out of the gate (some shading would have helped) and I could have done with one or two fewer pratfalls. But Michael Cera’s line-readings were beautifully timed and spoken in a squeaky late-adolescence quiver. Physically and emotionally, the two make a classic comedy couple.
Also: so cool to see a comedy about straight guys that's not homophobic. Directors, writers and producers like Judd Apatow, Adam McKay, Will Ferrell and now Rogen don't coast on fag jokes and clearly aren't suffering from homosexual anxiety. Rogen and co-writer Evan Goldberg are confident enough in themselves to put in that bizarre backstory point about Seth's childhood obsession with drawing dicks. A montage plays during the credits. It feels fresh and honest, and laughs are genuine because, again, it's not mean-spirited.
Here’s one thought. Remember Evan’s story about how exciting his weekends were, so exciting that he couldn’t go to every party? Well he gets a night just like that, one he’ll be talking about for years.