He Said, She Said: Superbad


Time for the second edition of “He Said, She Said,” this time with two takes on the comedy Superbad. Is it really super bad or super bad ass? Let’s find out what T.O. and Maggie have to say.

HE SAID: By T.O. Lawrence

Grade: C-

I’m sorry, Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg, you aren’t that funny. Cheap jokes, gay references and general silliness just isn’t going to do it for me. Typecasting and zany bullshit won’t do it for me either. I’m tired of having to hear such good things about you and later questioning the time I spent sneaking in to see your movies at the dollar show. There should be no reason for me to ever wonder if I should see Rush Hour 3 instead of anything! No! Nuh-uh! Never! Chris Tucker has become a curse upon this land!

Superbad, the latest installment in their run of dull comedies the likes of Knocked Up and The 40-Year Old Virgin (OK, so I kinda liked that one), marks yet another mild-stone event that will be as quickly forgotten as any piss-poor teen movies of yesteryear (Drew Barrymore, anyone?). Never known for their particularly subtle wit, these masters of the overdone represent a concentrated dose of everything you’ve seen before only more expensive and better advertised.

Michael Cera plays Evan, a nervous, spindly, hormone-based mass whose awkward moments provide a lot of laughs but fail to do anything different or better than when he did the exact same thing in Arrested Development. Again on a quest for the impossible wet dream, instead of pining over his curly-headed cousin, he instead follows the lead of his curly-headed cohort, Seth (Jonah Hill) whose outrageous peer-pressuring and goofy obesity are staple punchlines for his parts of the film. And it’s difficult to ignore his striking similarities to Rogan, who penned him, in visage as well as in name. The trio is rounded out by the nerd-tastic Fogel (Christopher Charles Mintz-Plasse) whose name recalls screech in all of the terrible ways you’d expect.

The story of their adventures takes place over one crazy night where the goal is to get booze and get to a party to get to the girls who will get them laid. Like American Pie and Can’t Hardly Wait before it, this story is underscored by the drama of kids getting out of high school, parting ways and growing up. Their nightly goals reflect their quickly diverging paths, sending Fogel on a joy ride with two crazy-drunk police while the other two adventure off to find alcohol and the true meaning of friendship. Awww…

With jokes like Fogel’s fake I.D. name as “McLovin” and the occasional period-blood fiasco, what your friends with poor taste once marketed to you as the next Napoleon Dynamite turns out to rely more on poor slapstick than brutally blank-face hilarity. I guess you could laugh when Seth does his hump-dance or his collection of penis-doodles, but then you probably also snort Ajax and quote things you heard from Dane Cook.

Almost every main character has played themselves before, Michael Sera, Jonah Hill and Seth Rogan as Officer Michaels just to name a few. Christopher Charles Mintz-Plasse even manages to be typecasted though this is his first movie, but looking at pictures of the kid you can understand why Dustin Diamond doesn’t have any money and why Mintz-Plasse will be playing this role until he one day checks himself into rehab.

This isn’t to say that anything is particularly bad about this movie, only that it appeals to the most basic and boring parts of you that might find something funny. The only scenes I really relished were those with the two police officers proving their past coolness to Fogel through complete disobedience and lawlessness. But again, this is coming from a person who watches COPS religiously as a document to the need for higher education. If you come looking for fart jokes, you will get them. Sex jokes? Those too. But original material? Not for many miles, kiddo. I’m afraid you’ll have to go find a rental for that one.


SHE SAID: By Maggie Watkins

Grade: A-

Three friends attempt to change their outcast status by hanging out with the cool kids at an end of the year party and possibly losing their virginity. Does this plotline sound familiar? The story of the nerdy kids’ shot at redemption in high school has been done many times over from the days of Porky’s up to the more recent American Pie, with the graduation party as the last chance to be cool.

Though Superbad is the newest interpretation of this recurring theme, the performances by the three main characters make the film refreshingly funny in comparison to the mediocre teen comedies that have flooded the theaters in the past few years. For those of you who were fans of the underappreciated series Arrested Development, the performance of Michael Cera (George Michael on the TV show) as Evan brings back the hilariously awkward personality that he plays so well. The stuttering, nervous Evan is both endearing and a source of the more quiet and subtle humor within the film. In contrast to Evan’s character, his best friend Seth (played by Jonah Hill) is over-the-top and highly inappropriate – air-humping girls behind their backs and using graphic sexual language. The friends’ polar personalities play well off one another and create a comedic balance and different levels of humor.

Evan and Seth, along with their stereotypically nerdy friend Fogell, plan to provide alcohol for a party to gain the acceptance of the popular kids in school and (more importantly) to get the girls they have been lusting over for the past four years. The sexually explicit and sometimes vulgar language typical of teen comedies is still present, but the script by Seth Rogen presents a more real-to-life perspective than the high school comedies preceding it (aside from the absurd side story of the out-of-control cops getting wasted with young Fogell).

In addition to the fresh dialogue, the backdrop of ‘70s style music reinforces the humor of the film as it follows the unusual events of the night as the best friends try to reach the party with the booze they have promised. The boys’ mission to get alcohol puts them in random and hilarious situations. When stumbling into an adult party, Evan finds himself singing a rendition of “These Eyes” by The Guess Who in a room full coke-snorting, menacing men. Towards the end of the film, however, their journey seems to be a bit drawn out with superfluous scenes that could easily have been done without – particularly the numerous scenes with the crazy cops (one of whom is played by Seth Rogen himself). The prolonged second act of the film reminded me of another of Rogen’s movies, Knocked Up, in which I was anxiously awaiting a conclusion or at least the indication that the third act was about to begin. Though I enjoyed Superbad much more, I was once again waiting for the climax.

As you cheer on the boys’ success in procuring alcohol for the consumption of their peers, the film finally hits you with the sugary, time-tested message that they were better off being themselves all along. Though it seems only right to promote some type of moral for teenage viewers, it created quite a cheesy contrast to the tone of the film as a whole. This does not diminish the overall success of the film, however, as viewers would not be satisfied with anything less than a happy ending for the three unlikely heroes. Superbad not only delivers the laughs it promises, but leaves you with characters you have truly come to empathize with and care for which is not expected in many comedies today.

8 Responses to “He Said, She Said: Superbad”

  1. T.O. hit the nail on the head.

    I think some jokes were in very poor taste. I do feel like I wasted my time. A lot of people said this was such a funny movie, and I thought I would give it a chance.

    I would give it a C as well.

  2. Your blog is very well put together. I like the he said, she said part because it gives different perspectives. I also like the movie reel and other icons on the header. It is very well organized with different categories. I would love to see movie trailers or maybe a link to movie times.

  3. artsybookworm Says:

    Yeah I totally agree with T.O,. “Superbad” was an overdone, crass comedy that was/is highly overrated.

    It lacked substance, genuinely funny jokes, and sense. Luckily I didn’t even waste a precious dollar to watch it at the dollar theater. Instead, I wasted my precious time watching it online. oh the shame of it.

    –Ugochi Amuta

  4. goingtomontreal Says:

    Sorry, but I am going to have to disagree with Ugochi and T.O. I thought Superbad was brilliant. The dialogue flowed so well and was clever, and call me immature, but I LOVE crass humor. I pretty much laughed the whole length of the movie, and as far as I’m concerned, that’s all a comedy needs to do. Unless it’s Knocked Up where its blatant support of traditional gender roles and pro-life fodder gunked up the jokes.

  5. goingtomontreal Says:

    oh sorry, goingtomontreal= Kacie Versaci. In case you couldn’t tell from the feminist comment.

  6. paultimmons Says:

    I agree that this film was highly mediocre. Michael Sara and McLovin made me laugh. The cops were sorta funny. But poor Jonah Hill is just a sight gag. His obesity is absolutely repulsive and I don’t understand how his character could have gotten that girl. Big comedians, Gleason, Farley, Candy usually carry their weight well and use it to their comedic advantage so your laughing with them not at them. Poor Jonah Hill, with his concave knees and huge man breasts was just pathetic. He really need to lose some weight for his own well being. But then he wouldn’t get jobs as I feel his size is the only thing that is pathetically funny about him.

  7. Execelent data my friend, responder encuestas remuneradas I just did not know what you published, excellent share. realizar encuestas remuneradas

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