Friday, 11 June 2010

It's up to you, Fogell. This guy is either gonna think 'Here's another kid with a fake ID' or 'Here's McLovin, a 25 year-old Hawaiian organ donor'

No 487 - Superbad
Director - Greg Mottola

I like it when a film accepts what it is and doesn't try to be clever... This is a film which just accepts its own stupidity and embarks upon a fabulously ridiculous journey. The plot is incredibly simple: three teenagers try to supply a house party with booze - an act which will turn them into legends and probably get them laid. Ah teen comedies, sex is all the motivation there needs to be :)

Whereas the film may struggle with a narrative, it does manage the one important thing for a teen comedy: it accurately portray teens. These are swearing, sex obsessed idiots who lack the courage to act on what they talk incessantly about. What I also like is that the characters show different sides to what we'd expect. I've gotten used to Jonah Hill being a brash and foul mouthed character... but here, his arrogant potty mouth just hides his character Seth's insecurity. His masses of insecurity. Watch his drunken revelation to Jules about how he had to get drunk in order to get the courage to make a move... it is tragically sad and tragically real. We've all been in that situation.
Michael Cera, on the other hand, is playing Evan, who is the role he always plays - the nervous, awkward geek - but this time he swears like a trooper and talks constantly about sex. It just shows a different side to him - though I'm waiting for his turn as an action hero with masses of excitement.

Seth and Evan are desperate to seduce the girls of their dreams. Martha MacIsaacs' Becca, the typical girl next door, is delightfully sweet and perfect for the nervous Evan. So the scene in which she drunkenly propositions Evan is even more cringe-inducing than Seth's attempt with Jules. Though it does give us an excellent line, which manages to be both hilarious but also show just how inexperienced (and wasted) the people are in this scene: I am gonna give you the best blow J ever... with my mouth.
Emma Stone's Jules seems far more adult and far more confident. She is also the owner of a surprisingly husky voice for one so young (this film makes me feel old). She is the most adult character within the entire film. The sober centre point who is both the catalyst for the film's narrative but also its most grounded point.

However, really this film isn't about Seth and Evan. Even though they're the leads and even though they represent an augmented autobiographical tale of the script writers - Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg - they are not the story's shining star.
You see... Rogen and Goldberg initially wrote this when they were 19 or 20 - with the idea that they (or at least Seth) would play themselves. However... they grew up and had to write themselves adult parts instead. So we have the film's strongest (and stupidest) story arc, and the introduction of Fogell - another teenage character, who gets caught up with two cops.

Christopher Mintz-Plasse came from nowhere to become the supremo geek extraordinaire. Fogell is a spindly hilarious loser. But he is getting a fake ID, and is therefore essential to the operation. Unfortunately, Fogell gets the worst fake ID ever, with a singular name. He is McLovin.
Through a series of mishaps he is abandoned by Seth and Evan and questioned by the police: McLovin? Sounds like a sexy hamburger!

For the remaining majority of the film he gets up to ridiculous adventures with his new friends: Officer Michaels (the excellent Bill Hader) and Officer Slater (Seth Rogen, making sure he gets one of the most fun roles). They are idiots who enjoy drinking, shooting guns, spinning doughnuts and generally abusing their police powers. However, as soon as it becomes clear that they may get in trouble, we see a whole new side to the cops. Violent and brutal, they are willing to attack and stop anyone if it'll make them look better (and they can always fix it in the paperwork). They are the embodiment of corruption in the police force, and it is odd that the only person they're really nice to throughout the film is Fogell - they will happily attack and terrify a hundred teens, as long as the one that they're trying to impress stays impressed.

It is a stupid film. So serious respect that it can pull off a restrained and fairly moving ending. For all the vulgarity and idiocy it is quite cute. It targets the fear and worry of having to leave your school friends to go to college and the fear of how you should act with women.
It is a teenage film. On the surface it is a juvenile idiot obsessed with sex, but underneath it is a bag of insecurities.

Superbad? Supergood more like...

(I've been waiting the whole review to say that!)

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