Superbad (2007) — Welcome to dullsville

“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.’”

Lissa’s rating: Superyawn

Lissa’s review: I saw this movie well over a month ago, and have been attempting to formulate a review ever since, and I just can’t seem to get myself off my butt and do it. Even now, I have my Facebook page open in the background so I can reward myself with a game of Scramble after every paragraph. (This would explain why my high score is 257.) This movie was just that uninspiring to me.

I had hopes. For some reason I had it in my head that this was a Judd Apatow script, which might partly account for my disappointment. (It was Seth Rogan and Evan Goldberg, for the few of you who didn’t know that. But Seth Rogan’s worked with Judd Apatow a lot, and Apatow was one of the producers on this.) It’s full of barely-past-indy actors who seem to be involved in a lot of good comedies these days. Michael Cera, Bill Hader, Seth Rogan, Jonah Hill (who I first saw in the rather underrated Accepted)… we were just missing Paul Rudd and Justin Long, I think. And the setup, while pretty predictable, seemed like it could be full of entertaining but true insights to being young and stupid. (Because sorry, but stupidity sort of goes with the territory when you’re a teenager.)

And I guess that was all there. But still.

The plot was pretty American Pie-like. Three high school buddies — Seth (Hill), Evan (Cera), and the Fogell (Christopher Mintz-Plasse) — want to get laid before they graduate high school. In order to do this, they offer to get booze for a party. Of course, since they’re under 21, getting booze is harder than it is for me, since no one ever cards me anymore now that I’m old enough to be someone’s mother. And wacky hijinks ensure. And, as I’m sure you can guess since this movie is focused on teenaged boys, so does profanity.

The thing is, I don’t consider myself a prude. I’ve got a pretty healthy inner twelve-year-old, and although I might make pretensions to class, I enjoy a good scatological joke at times as well. And sex jokes are often downright funny. And I’m certainly not going to start wailing about “the children,” because come on people, not everything in this world should be appropriate for three-year-olds. But a sex joke has to be more than just actually saying the naughty words, y’know? Anyone can say them, but it takes some wit to actually transform sex terms into something funny.

But Superbad is one of the few movies I’ve ever seen that was really ruined for me by the profanity and language. It wasn’t that it was particularly disgusting; it was that it was boring. Seriously. The pacing was really thrown off by the constant stream of off-color “jokes,” and I just wanted the story to move along. Because there was a story there, and if the movie had been a half-hour shorter, it would have been much better.

Plus, I thought some of the jokes (like the blood one) were a little too gross. But after talking to Al about the movie, I think that just might be my X chromosome talking.

The thing about Judd Apatow movies is that generally, despite the profanity and the sex gags and the puerile humor, there’s usually a story in there, and it’s often times touching. Partly because it’s believable, and partly because the characterization makes it become believable. Superbad fell down in the characterization. I really like the idea of two geeks who are best friends, and one’s ready and eager to move onto college and the other hasn’t quite gotten to that point yet. It’s got a lot of potential, and while sure, it might not be the most novel story in the universe, it’s something we can all relate to. But the real story got lost in the onslaught of four-year-old humor, and it was really to the story’s detriment. The balance was off.

Well, I’ve played a good five games of Scramble, and frankly, I’ve run out of things to say. I ended up finding this movie so forgettable and dull that I’m really just phoning this review in. If you want a good teen sex comedy, go back to the video store and rent American Pie for the millionth time. It really was a lot better.

Didja notice?

  • Seth and Evan. Duh, of course you noticed. It’s like noticing an anvil being dropped on your head.
  • The young Becky is holding a very different drawing than the one the movie says she is. Thank God
    -Some serious guy love going here. (::Cues JD and Turk.::)
  • What the guys did versus what they say they did? That cracked me up and made me think that this was actually going to be a good movie for a moment.
  • How hard a time I had finding appropriate quotes for this? Sheesh.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s