It was bound to happen at some point. The younger the characters in Judd Apatow’s comedy universe, the greater the temptation would become for the guys to use it as an excuse to deliver every single dirty, filthy phrase they can think of. Now that the main characters are teenagers in Superbad, they have free rein to go for the cheapest route to a laugh and simply reduce teenage sexual angst to stunted maturity and inhibition.
I know my opinion is in the minority; the movie has been hailed almost unanimously by critics as finding a nice balance between raunchy humor and insightful drama. My personal theory is that these two elements almost always make a very uneasy cocktail, as was the case with Judd Apatow’s earlier Knocked Up, where I felt the women got the shorter end of the stick in an attempt to bring forth a gender relationship drama amidst the testosterone-laced vulgarity. With Apatow handing the writing duties to Seth Rogen (who was the lead in Knocked Up) and Evan Goldberg to present what I guess is supposed to be their puerile teenage experiences, this movie descends into near misogyny in its barrage of every sexual slang term it uses to describe the females around them.
Attempting to cross the far superior American Graffiti and Dazed and Confused with American Pie, the story follows the writers’ teenage counterparts, Seth (Jonah Hill) and Evan (Michael Cera), who are nervous during their last day of school before graduation and anxious because they have not lost their virginity yet. To do that, they set out to impress a few girls who will be at a graduation party by finding a way to bring alcohol. Seth is in hormonal overdrive over a partner he had in cooking class, Jules (Emma Stone), who is throwing the aforementioned party, while Evan seems a bit more genuinely attracted to another girl, Becca (Martha Maclsaac). Of course, being in a comedy that tries to be an identifiable human drama for teenagers, they will learn some life lessons through their raucous last night such as learning to calm down and be patient and realizing that the two best friends still have each other, though the other implication seems to be that teenagers can be as verbally putrid as they want before learning those lessons.