Confession time. In high school, I was one of the kids in Superbad: geeky; nervous; too loud or too quiet, depending on whatever social situation I might have accidentally stumbled into. I was adept with obscure comic book minutiae, yet only able to stammer and stutter when forced to actually converse with anyone of the opposite gender. A cruel irony, all this, since the thing I wanted most was to hook up with a girl (any girl would do, really) and/or go to a party where I could get drunk (any booze would do, really). The fact I had no clue how to accomplish either of these things, sadly, did not stop me from trying.
So my opinions on Superbad might be kind of biased. When watching a film about CG astronauts or talking polar bears or whatever, there's an easy, disconnecting suspension of disbelief; watching something that feels a lot like one's own life is a whole different matter. But still: I'm pretty sure regardless of my high school dork status, Superbad is still hilarious.
Starring Michael Cera (he played George Michael on the tragically cancelled Arrested Development, a role he pretty much plays again here) and Jonah Hill (the "it rhymes with shmashmortion" dude from Knocked Up), Superbad is a teen sex comedy co-written by Knocked Up's Seth Rogen, produced by Judd Apatow (Freaks and Geeks and The 40-Year-Old Virgin), and helmed by Arrested Development director Greg Mottola. Those are a lot of really funny guys, and Superbad's rambling screenplay is pretty much there just to let them do really funny stuff. The basic concept: High school seniors Seth and Evan (Hill and Cera) are desperate to get girls, booze, and avoid two hard-partying cops (Rogen and Saturday Night Live's Bill Hader). Along the way: fist fights, drunken strip teases, unexpected smears of menstrual blood, an exploding cop car, and enough lightning-quick dialogue that I'll be seeing the film again this weekend to catch all the jokes I missed the first time. Oh, and also a very, very excellent use of Van Halen's very, very excellent "Panama."
Like Freaks and Geeks, Superbad smartly manages to capture all the excitable, desperate awkwardness of adolescence; like Arrested Development, it handily makes trivial events and throwaway dialogue into sidesplitting jokes. (Both accomplishments are helped by the awesome performances of Cera and Hill.) But maybe most impressively, Superbad just feels a lot like high school. Except (barely) less awkward, and way, way funnier.