Sunday, December 09, 2007

Superbad: Grade B


Superbad (2007)

Jonah Hill, Michael Cera, Christopher Mintz-Plasse. Director Greg Mottola

What raises this teenage anxiety comedy above drudgery is the fine acting by all the young people. The cops (who include Seth Rogen, who co-wrote), played well too, but the characters were way too crazy to be taken seriously. The nerdy high school loser guys from Knocked Up are desperate to get laid before graduation, and to do that, they believe they must get the girls drunk, and to do that, they need fake ID to get alcohol. The bulk of the story is the adventure of trying to get the alcohol. There is a long dead spot in the middle where Hill and Cera crash an adult party and steal some booze, but except for that, the writing, editing and directing are sharp and often witty. I was a little disturbed by the matter-of-fact glorification of alcohol and drunkenness among teenagers, but maybe I am out of touch. In the third act, the college-bound guys come to terms with separation anxiety and begin to have real conversations with girls. The suggestion that Hill and Cera have a gay relationship is always under the surface and the idea is almost overdone, but it is used effectively to mark their rite of passage into adult heterosexuality. I was surprised at this turn of sophistication at the end of a uniformly vulgar slapstick comedy of stereotypes. Despite the sexual vulgarity, there is no nudity and the women are treated with respect by the camera. The unrelenting obsession with male genitals and the mechanics of intercourse in the first 90% of the movie wears thin, but good writing, acting, music and directing keep the laughs flowing.

No comments:

Post a Comment