As teen movies go, Superbad would most likely become a classic as it ages. Judd Apatow has been churning out hits with fair regularity and it could be considered a triumph of sorts that he succeeded in having a sex-obsessed, profanity ridden, highly un-PC movie actually made.
Super bad tells the story of two high school seniors and best friends—Seth (played by Jonah Hill) and Evan (played by Michael Cera) —who want to get on with women before they go to college. In all of these shenanigans they are joined by their classmate Fogell (who has become immortalized as McLovin). The plot is actually very simple and is not even original because the “lose my virginity” plot device has become a staple in almost all teen movies. What makes Superbad work is the highly entertaining script by Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg. It may be highly offensive and crude but there is an authenticity to the dialogue. You know that this is how kids nowadays talk. It may be quite offensive but there really good humor underneath it. All you need to do is to leave your PC-conscious self at the door before entering the theater and you’ll probably have a great time listening to Seth talk about subscribing to Vag-tastic Voyage.
Of course, a script is only as good as the actors that deliver it, and in this regard, the two lead actors really owned their respective roles and turned in performances that are noteworthy and at that rare level where the actor is absorbed into the character so much that you literally forget the actor. The same level of commitment could be seen in Christopher Mintz Plasse’s portrayal of the geeky and funny Fogell. He was the endearing foil to both Seth and Evan and is also the centerpiece for some of the funniest moments in the movie, most notably, the whole fake ID fiasco and the “birth” of his McLovin alter ego. Mintz Plasse dove into his character with gusto and his awkward demeanor was actually helped by the fact that he is a first time actor.
With Judd Apatow producing the movie and his partner Seth Rogen co-writing the script, you’d think that they would at least prevent one or the other from appearing in this movie. But once again Seth Rogen decides to appear here as one of the loony cops that hilariously detain McLovin. Rogen should learn from all of the cameos that Tarantino makes in his movies that, often times, it really does not work. And almost always, those that not work are in movies where the cameo extends to an actual role. Rogen delivered some funny lines here but his performance was so dry that it counterpoints the superb job the three leads had done. Rogen, you don’t have to appear in all the movies you’re involved with. You’ve already kissed Katherine Heigl on screen, for god’s sake!
Superbad is the perfect title as it appropriately describes the movie. It’s a “bad” movie because of the cussing and the penis drawings, but it’s also “bad” for being one of the funniest movies to come out in years.