Film Reviews


By • Aug 17th, 2007 •

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A loving ode to the penis.

The pitch must have been simple: It’s about our penises.

Seth (Jonah Hill) and Evan (Michael Cera) are best friends who will soon be graduating and going off to different colleges. They do not want to arrive at college virgins. Fat, curly-haired Seth is so unappealing and foul-mouthed you feel sorry for him. He’s this year’s Baudelaire but without the poetry. Evan is pathologically shy and socially inept. But Evan has one redeeming quality – he’s a nice guy caught up in Seth’s demented sexual fantasies.

When Seth’s masturbatory fantasy Jules (Emma Stone) overhears his conversation with the even more blissfully awkward Fogell (Christopher Mintz-Plasse), who is bragging that he’s off to get a fake I.D., she invites Seth to her party. She gives him money to buy liquor. Evan’s dream girl, Becca (Martha MacIsaac), asks him to pick up some liquor for her as well. Now both teenagers must get Fogell to try out his fake I.D. and buy $100 worth of booze.

As you know from the trailer, Fogell, representing himself as 25 year-old “Mclovin,” gets punched out at the liquor store and two cops (Seth Rogen and Bill Hader) take him along for a wild evening of drinking, waving guns, and responding to police calls.

With “Mclovin” in the custody of his new-found buddies, Seth and Evan must find a way to get liquor to bring to the party. They plan on getting the girls drunk and having sex with them. Or, more importantly, getting oral sex.

My family says I see homoeroticism in every movie. If two men stand too close to each other in a scene, I see romance. There is no denying the homoeroticism in SUPERBAD. If this was a 40s movie, the fade-out after Seth and Evan cuddle together in their sleeping bags, would mean only one thing. And their awkwardness in the morning confirms it! Well, at least it did for me.

The whole movie is a love poem to a male teenager’s constant focus on his penis. Everything else is an annoying distraction. If there ever was a teenage coming-of-age comedy that was gay, SUPERBAD is it. “Not,” as Jerry Seinfeld said, “that there is anything wrong with that.”

Written by Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg, “Superbad” embraces its vulgarity with silly charm. Seventeen-year-olds talk exactly like this and we are being let in on their dirty little secret – all they think about is their penises.

But then again, don’t all men regardless of their age?

Herein is the core audience. SUPERBAD speaks to every male in the audience. And for us girls? Now we know for sure.

The director, Greg Mottola, directs with a strong hand and gives the male characters a non-verbal subtext to their roles. The girls are just along as teenage temptresses. One could easily announce Mintz-Plasse as this year’s Napoleon Dynamite. Mclovin is a truly new character with, I hate to use a “How to Write a Screenplay” stock term, an authentically realized “character arc.”

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