Yes, the teen sex comedy has been done to death. No, there is hardly a need for another movie with horny teenagers looking for a big score. Yet –
Superbad is the new American Pie, and fully justifies its existence.
It takes one sequence for Superbad, directed by Greg Mottola, to solidify itself as the new king of teenage sex embarrassment, and it happens to involve far more than pie humping. This is unquestionably crude, obnoxious, and flat-out offensive from the first words spoken in the movie. It’s targeting a specific crowd, and it simply nails the demographic flawlessly.
Set during one day, a last chance for three soon-to-be ex-high schoolers to find a girl who will actually sleep with them, Superbad is briskly paced until a slight drag in the middle. The jokes are non-stop, and hardly any scenes go by without some major laugh. Each sequence is wonderfully set up for maximum comedic possibilities, and the script capitalizes on every one of them.
At times, it’s hard to believe the MPAA was lenient enough to give this one an R. Superbad could very well be the new record holder for uses of a favorite four letter word that rhymes with “muck.” It’s surprisingly not repetitive, as it feels like a natural flow of dialogue. This is a movie crammed with quotable lines, though only when in the company of the right people.
Even with the rapid pacing of the jokes, visual and dialogue driven, there still manages to be enough character development to drive a few key sequences. The ending is actually touching even after characters have been hit by cars (twice), become impossibly intoxicated, failed miserably with their sex life, and been knocked out cold by a carry-out bandit.
Two cops, played by writer Seth Rogen and Bill Hader, are the only out of place characters in the film. Their side adventures definitely go slightly over the top, and even in a film that is hardly reality based, suspension of disbelief isn’t strong enough for their final appearance and actions. It’s still incredibly funny, if not out of place.
There’s little question Jonah Hill steals this movie as Seth. His hilarious rants, absurdly stupid comebacks, and unbelievable sex drive are the sum of Superbad. Michael Cera, the only source of common sense in the movie, still manages to take over later scenes which are perfect in terms of his character.
The actual story here, nothing more than the eternal quest for booze, sex, and more booze, is merely a backdrop. Then again, few comedies are held together with their narrative, and it becomes secondary to the on-screen antics. That’s all Superbad needs to carry itself through nearly two hours of brilliant teen comedy that becomes one of the biggest surprises of this long, over-bloated summer movie season.