Superbad

 
Directed by: Greg Mottola
Written by:Seth Rogen, Evan Goldberg
Starring: Jonah Hill, Michael Cera, Christopher Mintz-Plasse, Bill Hader, Seth Rogen, Martha Maclsaac
Released: September 20, 2007
Grade: A

A lot of people are going to love this movie.  It’s a smartly written teen comedy in the same vein as American Pie.  The two writers responsible are Seth Rogen (the male lead in Knocked Up) and his good friend Evan Goldberg.  These guys must have a great sense of humour because what they’ve come up with is cinematic gold.

Superbad is the story of three teenagers in the final year at high school.  All they seem to care about are girls and alcohol.  Seth (Hill) is the loudest and most outspoken – he talks himself up as a real party animal.  Fogell (Mintz-Plasse) is the nerd – he always looks nervous in the company of others.  Evan (Cera) is the guy that seems to hold the group together – he’s the smartest and most sensible but has major self-confidence issues.

All three are invited to a major party being held by a girl from school.  Her name is Rebecca (Maclsaac) and Evan has had a crush on her for a long time.  After bragging about a new fake ID that Fogell has got his hands on, the trio are given $100 and asked to buy alcohol.  If they can pull this off, they’ll be heroes of the party!

You will laugh in this film for two reasons.  Firstly, these guys find themselves in some strange places for even stranger reasons.  If pointless me trying to explain – you’ve just got to see it to believe it.  It’s situational comedy at its finest.

Secondly, and most importantly, the film captures the essence of being a teenager.  As unrealistic as the story is, there’s a precise realism to the way these kids interact.  There’s a scene early in the film where Evan and Rebecca try to express their feelings for one another.  It’s hilariously awkward.  If you’re not smiling (or blushing) at this point then you’re tough to please.

Terrific performances are turned in by the mostly young cast.  The standout for me was 19-year-old Michael Cera as Evan.  I’ve been a fan of Cera since I first saw him in Arrested Development, one of my all-time favourite television shows (which few people have seen).  He plays a similar character here and fits perfectly into the role.  It’s a break-out role from Cera and I look forward to seeing him in next film, Juno, which received excellent reviews at the recent Toronto Film Festival.

As I’m running low on superlatives, let me close with the simple truth that Superbad is a super movie.  It may not make a lot of sense when you look back on it, but it takes you along for a fun ride and hits all the right notes.