Warning: Superbad is rated R for surprisingly everything under the sun except nudity(!) and people who don’t remember what it was like to be 17 should avoid this movie like the plague. Superbad is everything your parents warned you about that you did anyway.
I have long bemoaned the fact that the Citizen Kane of teenage sex comedies had yet to be made. I can’t do that anymore. Risky Business and Dazed and Confused came close, but they had way too much on their minds to be the epitome of the genre. Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg, two really intelligent writers, have produced the class of the field in Superbad and they’ve done it by trumpeting a level of sheer stupidity that makes Porky’s look like an art film.
Right before he died, Joel Siegal profanely walked out of a screening of Clerks 2. He wouldn’t have made it past the third minute of Superbad. The language in this film makes Kevin Smith’s dialog look like it was written by your prudish Aunt, who doesn’t appreciate foul language. Without a doubt, there is a scene in this movie that makes Cameron Diaz’ hair gel gag in the Farrelly Brother’s There’s Something about Mary seem innocent and chaste. Superbad will make Tipper Gore nostalgic for the good old days of 2 Live Crew’s Me So Horny. Superbad is a film that earns the right to end with a montage tribute to classroom doodles of famous moments in history portrayed through the métier of the male reproductive organ.
There is simply no way to exaggerate how far this crew has gone over every implied line of good taste to make you laugh. In all likelihood, whoever sees this movie will immediately pay to see it again or rush off to lock their teenagers in their room for the night. Two dorky friends try to buy some beer and bed some girls at a party. The essential teen experience and as generic a spine to build this thing on as anyone could possibly aspire. Its sub-human moronic language is a supreme poetic ode to male immaturity and its rhythmic profanity is somehow, against odds larger than a Cleveland sports team winning a major championship, David Mamet-like.
Jonah Hill and Michael Cera are as good as humanly possible as the fat obnoxious kid and his sweetly shy best friend, which makes it all the more amazing that the film is so completely stolen by Christopher Mintz-Plasse, who in the course of the movie is somehow credibly transformed into a swaggering Rock Star after sort of changing his name to McLovin, and the unreal comedic pairing of Rogan and Bill Hader. Simply enough, Rogan and Hader portray the two worst cops in the history of film. They are Jim Carrey and Jeff Daniels in Dumb and Dumber, but half as mature, armed, dangerous, and chemically impaired. They are two Jeff Spicolis, who decided that it would be fun to protect and serve. Drinking and driving with the obviously underage Mintz-Plasse is essentially the most responsible thing they do during the course of the film. Their idea of a good time is dancing to anti-police rap anthems. They are a danger to everyone especially themselves, and the movie world is all the better for it.
Superbad was produced by man of the moment Judd Apatow. The kind of failure on network television that makes reputable critics of the medium weep, he’s emerged as the major face of modern comedy by grasping for the R rating and seeing just how much heart and raunch he can throttle out of it. You hate to jinx the guy, but after The 40 Year Old Virgin and this summer’s other comedic home run Knocked Up, Apatow is on a tear that hasn’t been seen since Rob Reiner reeled off This is Spinal Tap, The Sure Thing, Stand by Me, The Princess Bride and When Harry met Sally in succession from 1984-1989. Reiner used to be famously called Meathead on network TV. Apatow has done him proud by embracing Reiner’s nickname and knowing full well that as David St. Hubbins said in Spinal Tap “It’s such a fine line between stupid, and clever.”