This review is based on the film as it was screened in May of this year.
Superbad is not a movie about any one thing in particular, except awkwardness. Can a movie be truly about awkwardness? About how it consumes you in a high school hallway, as a prominent thong around an even more prominent ass consumes you? About how awkwardness never goes away, even when you rise to the top of the small town ranks, as a cop? About how teenagers actually talk about choosing one porn paysite over another? About how if high school really sucks, you’re ecstatic about getting laid via, quote, “a mistake?” Yes, a film can be, and Superbad is these things, and many more.
Easily the funniest movie of the year. Competes with Borat in the Hardest, Most Painful Laughter in the Aughts film. Places Michael Cera front and center on a movie poster where we all know he belongs. Makes “Panama” by Van Halen a great song. Proves Barry Bonds has done steroids.
Okay, “Superbad” can’t fix everything that I think needs fixing, but it’s everything you could ask from a comedy about awkwardness. Noticing a theme here? Awkwardness, which Cera nailed on “Arrested Development,” encompasses so much of our daily lives, and it’s about time that it got it’s own movie.
And since it got it’s own movie, it’s fitting that it’s the first in ages that gives the token Dorkier Dork, known here as McLovin’ (Christopher Mintz-Plasse), some of the better material to work with. Usually, the Dorkiest has nothing else to do but endure physical pain and maybe get some by a freak of nature event. But McLovin’ gets some really funny stuff to survive through the scenes with Officers Slater and Michaels (Bill Hader & Seth Rogen, respectively), the aforementioned still awkward cops. He gets knocked down in order to meet them, but Plasse comes off well. His time on screen is far from empty dicking around to kill time, and if there’s any way to judge a movie about outcasts, it’s by how it handles those who are outside it’s own outsiders.
You might have noticed, if you got this far, that I barely spoke about the plot of the film. That this was me hoisting awkwardness on my shoulders and giving it a good parade. That’s a couple of things: first, it’s my laziness. Secondly, it’s the most I can do to stop from spoiling the film’s brutal hilarity. “Superbad” is in wide theatrical release starting Friday August 17th.