There’s a point when you’re in high school and you think everything that will ever matter is happening right then and there. People are constantly telling you that this isn’t the be all and end all, that there is more to come on your path through life. And those same people are telling you to savour these halcyon days because they go by all too quickly and are forgotten once the responsibilities of adulthood hits.
Well, whoever “they” are in your case probably didn’t use the word “halcyon” too frequently but you get the idea.
Seth and Evan, the heroes of this story, are reaching the end of their high school careers. They’re trying to savor those final moments by breaking free of their teenage reputations and jump up their social standings up several levels before they move on. Best friends for most of their lives, these two are out to party alongside their friend Fogell aka McLovin, a person Evan finds far more tolerable than Seth. Predictably, the night’s escapades take a sharp left turn and hijinks ensue.
On many levels, this Judd Apatow produced film is just another teen party night gone wrong comedy that ventures in to the wake left behind by the films and filmmakers that have come before it. But unlike those films, Superbad tries a little harder. Both Seth and Evan have, in their own ways, come to the conclusion that these are not only the dying days of their high school careers but of their relationship. They are going to separate colleges and this long-standing friendship will inevitably fade away. One of them has accepted this reality better than the other and has already begun the process of moving on while the other is fully engulfed in denial. Their journey through this one last night towards a symbolic moment of separation that punctuates the film perfectly, taking Superbad up a notch beyond similar films.
Beyond that, it’s still funny. Evan, played by Michael Cera, and Seth, played by Jonah Hill, each have funny moments but their characters are frequently more annoying than anything else. Which is part of their charm. The comedy comes when you roll in their respective love interests, particularly Emma Stone, and even more important is McLovin.
No one had heard of Christopher Mintz-Plasse before this film, probably because it was his first. Hell, people were barely aware of Michael Cera and Jonah Hill. His turn as Fogell/McLovin adds element to the relationship between Evan and Seth even they can’t predict. He is ridiculous, endearing, and a key element to the story. He is the glue that binds the two together while also being an active wedge driving them apart. Beyond that, Seth Rogen, Bill Hader, and Joe Lo Truglio are all also hysterical. Rogen and Hader play a pair of cops who flit in and out of the story, mostly screwing with McLovin during increasingly absurd circumstances.
Written by Seth Rogen and his partner in crime Evan Goldberg, Superbad was a sleeper hit in 2007 that came out of nowhere, surprised audiences with its earnest yet over the top comedy, and has entrenched itself as a classic.
The writing credit on this one also quite effectively explains where the names of the main characters came from.