Saturday, August 25, 2007

superbad = superfun; i'm superserious

Honestly, I really enjoyed Superbad. I mean, if I'd recognized any of the 95 teenagers around me I might have felt a little weird, but in the anonymous darkness it was a great time. Let me just say this - the language (and many gestures - I had to look away during one scene, but so did one of the characters, so I didn't feel too prudish) is often filthy and crude, but not for sheer shock value. Its obscenity is grimly accurate and actually makes sense; I have been to the dark side of teenage boy conversations and have heard such words out of their mouths. Usually it's the more inexperienced ones who are the most foul, so when you frame it that way it seems almost cute. Almost.

The saving grace of this movie is Michael Cera. This kid (and he really did just turn 19; finding him so darling feels almost as creepy as adoring Daniel Radcliffe) has the best innocent face and intelligent, articulate manner - even when stringing together a cringe-worthy sentence about a variety of sex acts. That alone was impressive, but the movie also manages to display teen obsession with alcohol and partying without completely glorifying it. In fact, the grown-up mom/teacher in me was relieved when the main characters came to the realization that getting stupid drunk is not only really unfun and embarrassing later, but it's also not a requirement for good times. And that was all presented in a nonpreachy, smart kid way so that maybe high schoolers who see the movie will actually believe it.

I think I liked this so much better than the American Pie series because the overall tone was so much smarter. Like the Porky's franchise that also overstayed its welcome, they were just one big tiring sex joke repeatedly thrust (ahem) in your face for an hour and a half. We all know how that gets a tad old after, oh, ten minutes. Superbad takes the same essential premise - boys want to get laid, today, please & thank you - but adds real angst and solid friendship issues, plus throws in a bit of fear about becoming boring adults. It has a STORY. And like cute Michael Cera as Evan says, I just want a little plot, that's all. Of course he's talking about porn, but still. It's a reasonable request. Superbad delivers the goods with loads (couldn't resist) of laughs. Satisfaction guaranteed.