Superbad (2007)

Director – Greg Mottola

Writers – Seth Rogen & Evan Goldberg

Director of Photography – Russ T. Alsobrook

Editor – William Kerr

Music – Lyle Workman

Producers – Judd Apatow & Shauna Robertson

Columbia Pictures. 114 minutes. Rated R for pervasive crude and sexual content, strong language, drinking, some drug use and a fantasy/comic violent image – all involving teens.

STARRING: Jonah Hill (Seth), Michael Cera (Evan), Christopher Mintz-Plasse (Fogell), Martha MacIsaac (Becca), Emma Stone (Jules), Bill Hader (Officer Slater) and Seth Rogen (Officer Michaels).

John Hughes defined a generation on screen in the 80s with films like Sixteen Candles, The Breakfast Club and Ferris Bueller’s Day Off. Over the past few years Judd Apatow and frequent collaborator Seth Rogen have been generating a similar body of work for the current generation.

TV’s Freaks and Geeks and Undeclared, and films The 40 Year Old Virgin, Knocked Up and now Superbad clearly have their pulse on the misfits and dreamers of today’s suburban-American world while maintaining mass appeal. And it’s all very funny to watch.

Seth (Jonah Hill) and Evan (Michael Cera) are wrapping up their senior year in high school and have one last chance to make an impression on some girls and get laid thanks to their pal Fogell’s (Christopher Mintz-Plasse in a role that might have gone to DJ Qualls a few years ago) new fake ID. But of course, nothing goes as planned as the liquor store is robbed and Fogell is assaulted as he is purchasing the alchohol the group has promised to bring to the party they’ve been invited to attend.

Hijinks ensue as Seth and Evan set about trying to devise a new plan to acquire the alchohol through some other means while Fogell makes friends with the pair of inept police officers who arrive to investigate the liquor store robbery (Seth Rogen and Saturday Night Live’s Bill Hader who make a side-splitting on-screen pair). Eventually the storylines converge at the party and relationships work themselves out.

Superbad contains a heavy dose of lowbrow humor that will no doubt offend the sensibilities of the more conservative crowd, but the film acts as a super-concentrated slice of young adult life, packing everything into the events of one evening. Diluted, the film is more or less accurate in its portrayal of its subject matter in a goofy, over-the-top way. If there are objections to its material, the objections should be aimed at current American culture, not necessarily it’s projected reflection.

On the horizon for Apatow and Rogen includes Drillbit Taylor, starring Owen Wilson in the story of two kids who hire a bodyguard for the school playground (wish I had had one). Apatow is producing and Rogen writing the screenplay based off a story from John Hughes.

Darryl A. Armstrong

6 thoughts on “Superbad (2007)”

  1. While I didn’t appreciate some of the ‘lowbrow humor’, I did find myself entertained. This is largely due to Christopher Mintz-Plasse, who really stole the show. Apatow and Rogen are making quite the name for themselves and will continue to do so.

  2. I found the movie hilarious without a doubt and named it my favorite comedy of the year followed suit by Knocked Up. Juno may take it’s place but for now I thought it was a great movie and one of my favorite movie going experiences of the year.

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