Director Judd Apatow and writer Seth Rogen seem to have just one thing on their mind. And after directing films such as “The 40-Year-Old Virgin” and this summer’s “Knocked Up,” that one thing should be easily decipherable. Their new film “Superbad” also delivers the laughs, strong and hard.
The film zooms in on the friendship of two high school seniors. Seth (played by Jonah Hill, a seemingly staple actor in Apatow’s films) and Evan (played by Michael Cera, best known for the role of George Michael from the genius before-it’s-time television series “Arrested Development”) battle their polar-opposite personalities while struggling through the last few weeks of high school. Seth, a foul-mouthed, outrageously blunt teenager plays off of the docile and generally considerate Evan.
As the duo deal with the vicious trials of high school, they learn of a party being thrown by the much lusted-after crush of Seth, Jules. After a dweeby and socially awkward companion of theirs (played by a brilliantly painful-to-watch Christopher Mintz-Plasse) obtains a fake I.D., the friends are invited to the party under stipulations of providing the all-so-important alcohol. And while Seth fantasizes about winning the heart of his love interest with bribes of booze and Evan works up the courage to confront his own problems with the opposite sex, the friends both long to end their high school careers with a big bang (yes, I mean it like that).
Not much more can be said without giving away the deliciously crazy twists and turns the trio are put through while getting the alcohol, but what can be said is that it definitely will surprise you and leave you in stitches.
Rogen makes a cameo as a free-spirited police officer who enjoys, with the help of his fellow policeman (played by Bill Hader), drinking on the job, making doughnuts in his cruiser and breaking out his pistol for some impromptu target practice. This gives the movie a second storyline to follow that eventually crosses paths with the sexually frustrated teens.
But how “Superbad” (and the rest of Apatow’s films) differ from the rest of the potty-humored teen comedies of recent years is in the realism of the characters. Relatable, understandable and sometimes difficult to watch, the characters are put into the situations that many of us college students have been put into.
Everyone has dealt with the pains that come with adolescent insecurity and while not everyone has been held at gunpoint by police officers while holding detergent bottles filled with beer, everyone can relate with the sexual frustration felt by the young heroes.
So when it all comes down to it, maybe sex actually isn’t the only thing occupying the space between Apatow and crew’s ears. With their trend of shockingly funny and expertly accurate perceptions of a society caught up in the confusion and chaos created by the opposite sex, it is guaranteed that the writers, directors and producers of “Superbad” will be making movies for a while – and they will undoubtedly never run out of material to work with.