Friday, March 21, 2008


The soft heart of gross-out teenage comedies will go down in history as the film of a generation

Attentive readers may remember Seth Rogen's inspired performance as Cal in The 40 Year Old Virgin. If that unveiled his talent to the wider world, his co-writing gem Superbad hurls him straight into Hollywood's best.

Superbad is no arty feat. Part of the teen-classic family tree that includes the American Pie trilogy, Roadtrip and the aforementioned 40 Year Old Virgin, it simply cracks you up from start to finish. Even if that wasn't your cup of tea, the collection of putdowns, funny lines, deadpan remarks and clumsy bits is just too much to resist. The masterstroke, of course is the notion of character identification. No matter how vulgar the line, the three protagonists Seth, Evan and McLovin are such a good array that it makes it impossible for us not to see a little bit of ourselves in them. Just think of those cringe-factor lined school-days and the all-talk borderline-obsessive fixation with sex, girls, and booze. From McLovin's fake ID, to Evan's bullshitting about his wild-party-weekends and Seth's mouthful of gross expressions, the ingredients are all there.

But beneath all the teenage bravado, what seals the deal is the tale of friendship between Seth and Evan. The knowledge that the clock is ticking and that University will change their life forever makes for a backdrop of simmering tension. But it's in the final shot, with one of the most poignant reconstructions of teenage life ever portrayed, that Superbad stands out from the crowd of high-school comedies. That last day, when Seth finally manages to pull Jules and Evan is about to go for a shopping round with his dream girl Becca. When Seth goes down the escalator as he looks round for a reassuring glimpse of his best mate Evan, he knows that a chapter of his life is about to shut down forever. That sudden lump in your stomach, paired with the sudden realisation that those comfortingly familar years of uber-geekiness and messing about are now over.
10 out of 10.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

wicked film this was