More of the same buddy comedies running rampant in theaters, “Superbad” is less a comedy about teens trying to get some, and more a story about coming of age and realizing that with age means shedding childish things and sadly having to part with some of your best friends who will likely disconnect from you once life comes into play. Rogen’s comedy is very much in the tradition of great films like “American Graffiti,” and “Dazed and Confused,” in which we follow one night in the lives of three soon to be college freshmen enjoying antics and hilarity in their town as they prepare to part ways. “Superbad” is hysterical, but it’s also touching in its own ways, accurately depicting friendship at such a young age.
Seth Rogen, the man beside Judd Apatow, provides a great screenplay, while also playing a hilarious supporting role that is constantly a plot device audiences will love. Rogen and co. tell the story of two friends the night before they part ways to go off to college and must face that they’ll be at different colleges with different social circles. As “Superbad” progresses we’re given a glance at what type of men these two friends will become, and Mottola presents this glance with this definitive subtext that even if they’d stayed together, life would have parted them, regardless. They’re invited to a party by hottie Jules, who begs character Seth to bring booze after he impulsively brags about a fake ID. Now when a series of events presents sheer difficulty, they have to get booze before the night is over and hope to get laid.
It’s your basic teen comedy premise but much wittier in the end, as Golberg and Rogen’s screenplay is just hysterical from start to finish. One of the reasons I enjoy Rogen’s writing is the same reason I enjoy partner Apatow’s. They know how to build characters while giving us laugh-out-loud hysterics in the process. Under the seams, “Superbad” has two very complicated and frustrated characters that are basically inseparable and have to face that they’ll very likely drift apart as the years pass. Jonah Hill is an underrated comedic talent who just continues to prove his worth as an actor in Hollywood and is due for a movie of his own. As Seth he’s the slacker who is also extremely focused on his goals of being some drunken girl’s mistake and manages to allude to his anger at friend Evan’s departure throughout the film. Though his character is difficult, Rogen and Goldberg reveal shades of sadness within the constant complaints.
Michael Cera is great with deadpan comedy as he’s the typical humble every guy who delivers one liners with a sense of passing that makes him all the funnier. He has a great sense of sympathy as Evan and really works wonderfully off of Hill. Equally, Seth Rogen and Bill Hader are great as the incompetent town cops Slater and Michaels, along with Christopher Mintz-Plasse as Vogel, the geeky third wheel who manages to have his own night of hilarity with the tag McLovin’ as his alias. “Superbad” is another of the great coming of age buddy comedies that is never too overbearing with raunch or toilet humor and thankfully plays to the talents of its cast. Yet another in a fine line of the coming of age buddy comedies, “Superbad” is a hysterical and sweet comedy with great performances, and a top notch script. Fans of Apatow’s comedies need apply.