R E V I E W   B Y   R I C H   C L I N E dir Greg Mottola
scr Seth Rogen, Evan Goldberg
with Jonah Hill, Michael Cera, Christopher Mintz-Plasse, Seth Rogen, Bill Hader, Emma Stone, Martha MacIsaac, Stacy Edwards, Joe Lo Truglio, Aviva, Kevin Corrigan, David Krumholtz
release US 17.Aug.07,
UK 14.Sep.07
07/US Columbia 1h53
Teen trouble: Mintz-Plasse, Hill and Cera

rogen hader krumholtz

Superbad Irreverent and uproariously funny, this comedy goes for broke to bring Judd Apatow's style of filmmaking to the teen genre. It's lightning fast, continuously rude and startlingly realistic.

Seth (Hill) and Evan (Cera) are best friends with two months left before they head for separate universities. And they've decided they need girlfriends to teach them about sex before they go. Quick-witted Seth sets his sights on Jules (Stone), volunteering to get alcohol for her party because their nerdy friend Fogell (Mintz-Plasse) has a fake ID; tongue-tied Evan finally gets up the nerve to talk to his long-time crush Becca (MacIsaac). But two chucklehead cops (Rogen and Hader) move in on Fogell, while Seth and Evan end up at the wrong--very wrong--party.

Apatow (Knocked Up) only produced this, but his fingerprints are everywhere, from the casting of his regulars to the way the script never condescends to its audience. The story is clearly autobiographical (Rogan and Goldberg wrote it when they were teens), so it's loaded with telling details that can only come from real events. As a result, it effortlessly combines the outrageous adventure plot with some strikingly serious subtext about friends growing up and growing apart.

Hill and Cera are perfectly cast as buddies who have never questioned their friendship, fully at ease around each other but beginning to notice that something momentous might be happening to them. Their chemistry is so strong that it lends an awkward charm to several astonishingly wacky sequences, right up to the hysterically cute finale. Meanwhile, Rogen and Hader are very funny as men who have never grown up, and really should have by now since they're policemen. And newcomer Mintz-Plasse brilliantly reinvents the super-geek for the next generation of moviegoers. His "McLovin" is unforgettable.

Mottola keeps all of this moving briskly, adding telling character touches, inventive visuals and constant twists to both keep us laughing and make sure we're actually involved in the chaotic goings on. As a result, besides being merely hilarious, which it is, the film will also touch a nerve in every viewer, reminding us that when we grew up we had to put away childish things. Well, mostly.

cert 15 themes, language, vulgarity, violence 12.Jul.07

R E A D E R   R E V I E W S
send your review to Shadows... Superbad felipe hernandez, california: 5/5 "i laughed, i cried, greatest movie ever!" (13.Sep.07)
2007 by Rich Cline, Shadows on the Wall