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There's a new King of Hollywood, and his name is Judd Apatow. Funny, considering he has been a favorite of geek squads across the country since "Freaks & Geeks" shot him to cult icon status. But he has just recently cracked into motion pictures, and he's making one hell of a splash. He is consistently proving himself to be a fine producer, writer and director - really seeming like the closest thing we've had to John Hughes in a long, long time. I've been waiting on someone to fill those shoes for some time now, and he seems totally ready and totally willing to do so. "Superbad" was neither written or directed by Apatow, but it was produced by him and still has this gloss that we saw on "The 40-Year-Old Virgin" and "Knocked Up". So, to say Apatow didn't have any kind of influence on the making of the film is probably a mistake. "Superbad" is a raunchy, sexed-up, morally ambiguous comedy that seems like "Dazed & Confused" for 2007 - it gives kids a little something more to relate to, and it just happens to be the funniest comedy since "Borat".
Seth (Jonah Hill) and Evan (Michael Cera) are best friends - period. They have been friends since elementary school and have always planned to go to college together - only problem is that Evan got accepted and Seth did not. The film opens with the two of them traveling to school, lusting over a couple of girls - Becca (Martha MacIsaac) and Jules (Emma Stone) - and then discovering that their friend Fogell (Christopher Mintz-Plasse) is getting a fake ID. When Seth is invited to a party later that night, he tells the girl of his dreams that he will supply the alcohol, thus beginning the journey of Seth, Evan and Fogell (officially renamed 'McLovin' on his fake ID) to get the liquor and get to the party. Things are complicated when things go haywire at the liquor store, taking Seth and Evan across town an 'interesting' frat party, and sending McLovin with Officer Slater (Bill Hader) and Officer Michaels (Seth Rogen), who want to party with McLovin and end up getting him drunk, letting him shoot their gun, and making him an accomplice to a hit and run. There are several minor misadventures that take place during the night, involving everything from Evan finding himself trapped in a room full of people who want to hear him sing, to Seth getting 'something' on his pants that leads to public humiliation and a detergent container filled with beer.
This films earns every bit of its R-rating. It's raunchy, vulgar, graphic and laugh out loud funny. This is the kind of gross-out humor that works because, oddly enough, it comes from the heart rather than the fart. Teenagers talk this way - horny teenagers especially talk this way. The conversations that Seth and Evan have are so genuine and so quirky, you can't help but respond to what their characters are doing. Everyone has a weird friend like McLovin, though probably not the level of weirdness to which the character goes. Everybody has done something stupid to impress a girl. It's what high school is all about, and "Superbad" is about two guys who have spent their entire high school years doing nothing but 'hanging out', who are finally afford the opportunity to do something that might make them popular, even for a couple of hours. There is an underlying sweetness to the film, especially involving Evan's moving to college and leaving Seth behind. You get the feeling that things are probably going to seriously change after the credits roll in this film. It was just so refreshing to see a film that went non-stop for the laughs, but still managed to provide convincing and likable characters in a storyline that had a little touch of sweetness to it. That's what Judd Apatow does so well with his films, and it evidently rubs off on the films he produces too.
The performances here are rock solid. Jonah Hill and Michael Cera are dead-on as Seth and Evan. I was especially impressed with Cera's performance, who has really developed his own quirky acting style that accounts for a large percentage of the laughs in the film. He just looks so young and innocent that when he says something like "I'm gonna stick my penis in her vagina", you can't but smile and chuckle a little because it seems to well-intended. Christopher Mintz-Plasse steals the show, as you probably know by now, as McLovin, who gets to go off on his own little adventure and come out a hell of a lot cooler than before he went in. Bill Hader and Seth Rogen are hysterical as the two cops who would rather get drunk and party that do any real law enforcement. But, the two leads - Hill and Cera - are the ones carrying the film and they do so admirably. It helps that they have amazing chemistry together, which becomes even more hysterical towards the end of the film when Seth carries Evan out of the party, or when they're lying in their sleeping bags. "Superbad" turns them into heroes of the highest order, with a little help from someone called McLovin.
To say I thought "Superbad" was super good would be an understatement. I haven't laughed and genuinely smiled at a movie this much in a long time. I said earlier that it was the funniest movie since "Borat", but "Borat" doesn't hold up as well on second and third viewings. I think "Superbad" will probably stand the tests of time, much like "Dazed & Confused". I mean - every generation has its 'youth movie', from "Rock N Roll High School Forever" to "Fast Times At Ridgement High" to "Dazed & Confused" and now "Superbad". Judd Apatow is putting some quality cinema out there right now and he's getting rewarded for it, since he has yet to write, direct or produce a flop. If he can keep rubbing off on films that he produces, like "Superbad", the next few years are going to be very exciting and very original. "Superbad" is the best comedy of 2007, and one of the best films I have seen this year, just because it doesn't try to be anything other than honest.
- added 08/30/2007, 09:09 AM
You also have to take into accout that Seth Rogen
co-produced 40 yr Old Virgin and was the executive
producer on Knocked Up so his infulence is on
those movies too.I have to agree with the 10/10 it
was perfect there's never a part that is boring
and they never force a joke. What makes movies
like this and Dazed & Confused great and the teen
movies of that the time is that you know those
people in real life, you watch it and go "wow
thats totally so-and-so" . Also gotta love the
fact that the 1st converstaion in the movie is
- added 08/30/2007, 12:08 PM
Hello funniest movie I've ever seen. How are you?
I don't think I went more than a minute without
laughing in this movie. I was laughing my ass off
during the dance sequence in the credits. Michael
Cera was hilarious in Arrested Development and he
was hilarious in this. Jonah Hill proved to
audiences that he will certainly be a huge star in
the years to come. This raunchy, awkward, ruthless
comedy has made 40 Year Old Virgin and Knocked Up
standout comedies, and it's done the same for this
film. Apatow, as I have said before, can do no
wrong. The man is a comedic genius, and Seth
Rogen...don't even get me started. I've loved that
boy since Freaks and Geeks, and haven't missed
anything he's been in. Here's to hoping Apatow can
be this generation's John Hughes. 10/10
- added 08/30/2007, 12:14 PM
Not for nothing, but I totally didn't even see
the John Hughes reference until after I'd said it.
I almost never read reviews before I comment. We
think alike, you and I.
- added 10/28/2007, 03:06 AM
i'd really like to know exactly how much creative
input judd apatow had with superbad, as i'm
getting a little sick of people splooging over his
name in relation to ANYTHING he's remotely
connected with. PRODUCER. not writer, nor
director. if someone can actually prove that he
wrote a significant portion of this movie, i'll
shut up. until then, i'm stating that superbad is
far funnier and far more consistent in its humour
than both apatow-helmed pictures [40 year old
virgin & knocked up], and this might be because of
[i'm betting it's directly related to] the fact
that he didn't write or direct this. moving on, as
funny as seth rogen is, bill hader owned this
movie, in my opinion. rogen's character was way
too similar to the same fat slacker dude he played
in the other two movies for me to really get into,
and thus, hader stole the show. enough has been
said about cera and hill, and they deserve every
bit of credit they get for this film. of course,
people threw a bit too much praise at this film
upon its release, but thankfully, a lot of it was
justified, as it's a genuinely funny movie. a
cultural phenomenon it isnt [morons saying
"chicka-chicka-yea!" has always been and,
unfortunately, will always be around], but it's
certainly one of the best comedies of the year.
- added 10/29/2007, 12:06 PM
Oh, get off your over-inflated high horse, dummy.
If you want the essentials -- Judd Apatow was
very involved with the production of this film, as
he is with any film that has his name attached as
producer. So, yes, there was a great deal of
Apatow's influence evident on this entire film,
even in the dialog and the staging of some of the
scenes. So, yes, it was heavily influenced by
him, and people are 'splooging' over him because
he's the best screenwriter out there right now and
he's picking up where John Hughes left off all
those years ago.
- added 03/31/2008, 10:04 AM
When he's on the loudspeaker in the cop car, and
screams "McLoving, WHY!?!??!" I almost shit
- added 10/05/2008, 11:29 PM
Brilliant movie. I was laughing almost
- added 11/13/2008, 07:29 PM
I don't know. I feel like I live on an island
all alone or something. Am I the only person who
thought that this movie was decent? Yeah, there
were some parts of the movie that I laughed at.
But when I left the theatre, i left extremely
disappointed. I should probably watch it again,
cuz there's a decent chance i disliked it cuz of
the overwhelming amount of irritating 16 year olds
in attendance with me who couldn't shut their
faces for one second throughout the movie. God I
- added 09/20/2010, 07:13 PM
I thought this movie was great and ridiculously
quotable. "Thanks to that used Tampon
- added 11/22/2010, 03:12 AM
I loved it when he nailed that kid in the face
with his night stick. 10/10