International Writers Magazine:Film:
The film follows two
students at a high school due to leave for college in a few months, Seth
(Jonah Hill) and Evan (Michael Cera). In typical teen movie fashion they
are the underdogs the losers or geeks at school who talk non-stop
about girls, but who rarely, if ever, get the girl in reality. This does
not stop Seth from being an extroverted, loud-mouthed, foul-minded individual
you can suss his character from one of the first lines of the film,
where he expresses a desire to sign up to a website named "vagtastic
voyager". Evan, on the other hand, seems to be more sensitive and
considerate, although, being a hormonal 18-year-old, he joins in with
Seth on more than one occasion.
Greg Mottola (director), Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg (writers)
Starring Jonah Hill, Michael Cera and Christopher Mintz-Plasse
is testament to the fact that teen movies based in and around American
high schools will never be exhausted. There is at least one made
for every generation; some see Dazed And Confused as the
film of their youth later on Ferris Beullers Day
Off became a milestone for the 80s. More recently the American
Pie franchise broke us in when 1999 rolled around. But it is
Superbad that has taken the teen movie by the belt and dragged
it stumbling into the twenty-first century.
Essentially, this film is a buddy movie, exploring the relationship
between Seth and Evan, and how it fluctuates when outside influences (girls,
college, etc.) encroach upon them both; the main point of conflict stems
from them going to different colleges. The plot is based around one party,
and everything attached to this party.
Far from relying on
the cliché gross-out jokes or the clumsy slapstick
of films like Road Trip and Dude, Wheres My Car?,
Superbad combines manageable elements of these with a snappy script
and fantastic characterisation that will provide laughs throughout. In
fact, there are only a few moments in the film that can be said to have
been put in purely to force a laugh from the audience. As for the plot,
there are enough twists to keep the film moving forward and jokes
are not rehashed, which is relative to the spontaneous nature of modern
comedy. Mainly, it will be the characters that keep the audience riveted,
laughing, and wondering what on earth will happen next. It is perhaps
outlandish in places, but what film ever caught anyones attention
that wasnt even a little bit ludicrous?
heroes, plus the inevitable geeky third wheel, Fogell (Christopher
Mintz-Plasse), McLovin it says on his ID, are invited and are faced
with two main problems: getting alcohol for the party, and getting
the girls that they want. As expected, these plans go awfully awry,
which sets up a series of unfortunate, and quite frankly
hilarious, events. Look out too for the 'cool' cops who play
McLovin along. Seth Rogen is one of the cops and writer of Superbad.
This film is definitely not for everyone but the target audience has been
reached and thousands of males in their late teens will be laughing for
some time to come.
© Russ Thomas November 2007
Russ is studying creative writing at the University of Portsmouth
Alt View of Superbad by
Superbad begins with the promise of being a new teenage cult classic,
such as American Pie. The first twenty minutes, in which the
two main characters, Seth and Evan are introduced, are humorous and daring.
Profane language and graphic references to sex are used extremely frequently,
but to amusing effect.
Seth (Jonah Hill), a chubby eighteen-year-old boy desperate to have sex,
has a wonderful turn of phrase. This is demonstrated in a scene with himself
and his domestic science teacher, where a hilarious, fast paced conversation
takes place. His language although possibly offensive to some viewers
is extremely quick witted, eccentric and very comical. You instantly see
that Seth, the more dominant of the two leads, is interested in one thing
His best friend Evan (Michael Cera) is quite the opposite. He is mild,
shy and generally a, and I hate to use this word, nice character
with good moral fibre. As I said, the beginning of this film is promising,
but after a short while the jokes do begin to wear thin. A lot of the
material is original, and certain slang words I, for one, had never heard
before, but there are only so many jokes that can be made about boys wanting
sex, and I feel they used most of this great material in too early on
in the film.
Soon a third main character is introduced- Fogell (Christopher Mintz-Plasse).
He is the token geek, for whom you begin to feel sorry, after
he takes a tirade of harsh abuse from Seth throughout the whole film.
The relationship between the three is an interesting one- Seth can clearly
not stand Fogell, Seth and Evan are best friends, Evan and Fogell are
moving in together when they leave for the college that Seth didnt
get into. So the film isn't quite as superficial as one might immediately
think- jealousy, friendship and morals do come into the equation to come
The boys are invited a party where the girls they have their eyes on will
be. Fogell gets hold of a fake ID and promises to buy alcohol for the
other two. Seth and Evan go on to promise the girls that they will buy
the alcohol for the entire party using said fake ID. Seems straight forward,
but alas the audience knows immediately that nothing in the film world
is that simple, and so the tale begins.
As Fogell is buying the alcohol a man comes into the shop and robs the
till, after having hit Fogell in the face. The police are called and wish
to talk to Fogell. They all form a rather strange friendship and Fogell
ends up spending the evening with the cops, riding round in the car and
drinking beer. I think this side story is the films saving grace. The
two policemen (Bill Hader, Seth Rogen) are great characters, and although
not very realistic, they keep the story rolling along nicely.
For me, as the only aim of the film is to get to a party, I lost interest
fairly quickly. Problem after problem cropped up, some funny, some just
rather frustrating, but all very predictable. The odd joke would bring
a smile to my face, and this was mostly due to the police and Fogells
This film will, Im sure, make many a teenage boy chuckle, as they
will be able to empathise with the lead characters. I didnt completely
dislike the film, and was impressed with much of the script, but the actual
story left much to be desired. I had high hopes for this film, but left
with little more than a feeling of disappointment, and a sore backside
from sitting down and watching it for over two hours.
© Anna Bennett November 2007
Anna is studying creative writing at the University of Portsmouth
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