Projections - Movie Reviews
With Jim Sabatini


Jonah Hill, Michael Cera, Emma Stone, Christopher Mintz-Plasse and Martha Maclsaac

Rated: R for pervasive crude and sexual content, strong language, drinking, some drug use and a fantasy/comic violent image - all involving teens
Reviewed by: Jim  
Release date: August 17, 2007 Released by: Columbia TriStar

Trippily irreverent and raucous, Greg Mottola's lengthy Superbad may be one of the truthfully vulgar tributes to the outsider.

This teen picture, which has the stamp of approval by producer Judd Apatow, director of Knocked Up and 40-Year-Old Virgin, may conjure up memories of films like Porky's and American Pie. It may be disarmingly raunchy, but with an underbelly of sincerity, and an affinity for a generation as depicted in Richard Linklater's Dazed and Confused.

This uncondescending tale looks at the insecurities of close chums Seth (Jonah Hill) and Evan (Michael Cera). It's only two months before they'll be off to college without their unconventional camraderie. Before they part, it's imperative that they need some sex education.

The screenplay by Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg (based on their own personal, startling experiences) gets its wanton wit from how Seth quickly eyes Jules (Emma Stone). And, how he volunteers to get booze for her bash with the help of geeky friend Fogell (newcomer Christopher Mintz-Plasse) because of his fake ID. There's Evan trying to warm himself to Becca (Martha MacIsaac), whom he secretly desires. Also, Rogen and Bill Hader turn up as two "policeman" who have their way with Fogell, while Seth and Evan party in ways they never dreamed.

One might see Apatow as a new age kind of John Hughes, commenting on those unfortunates trying to fit in, even friends dealing with "maturity" and on varying paths in life. With Rogen and Goldberg filling in rather rude details about an adventure that oddly compares with Hughes's Weird Science, though much more grounded in reality.

A 70's vibe relates in the visual palette, soundtrack, and hardly frequent use of wireless devices, so the chaotic atmosphere works into buddies who begin to question their friendship. So, the rapport between Hill and Cera gradually lends an awkward appeal, through many an outrageous moment, all the way to the sweet, if hysterical finish,

Mottola (Daytrippers) is sensitive to the growing pains of the likes of Seth and Evan, and often handles the "twists" with a sure hand. Some may think the carefree cops might belong in a different picture and that it overstays its welcome. But, the non-slang Superbad may be the naughty reinvention of Revenge of the Nerds with a memorable Mintz-Plasse doing something rather deadpan, yet raucous with his "McLovin".

  Frank Chris Tony Jim Howard Jennifer Kathleen  Avg. 
Superbad C-   B B- C+     C+

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