Superbad is a 2007 teen comedy film directed by Greg Mottola, produced by Judd Apatow and starring Jonah Hill, Michael Sera and Seth Rogen. It is a well regarded comedy movie for good reasons.
It follows Seth and Evan, two best friends, who are invited to a party and try to get liquor for it and are also looking to start their sex lives as their high school ends and a new chapter of their life approaches. Naturally, it isn’t the most original of plots. But it is executed so well that it has many laugh-out-loud moments. Superbad succeeds because it is very funny, at times ever hilarious. The humor can rely too much on cursing, but it also has so many priceless facial expressions, mostly coming from Michael Cera, and many great lines.
But the movie works on multiple levels. Besides the raunchy nature of it, the movie is also often genuinely touching and even smart. The third act has some great scenes with the ending being superb and a perfectly satisfying conclusion and the conversation earlier between the two being the highlight, a particularly memorable and relatable sequence. It wonderfully shows their inherent innocence but also showing their fears of future which are all the things everyone could relate to. And the dialogue in that sequence is really well written.
The character development is to me the standout aspect here. Seth is such a memorable and funny character and although annoying sometimes, he is above all a realistically portrayed teen and probably the most grounded in reality character of all. Evan is great and to me was even funnier than Seth with many hilarious moments. The two have such a great relationship and the scenes between the two are arguably the highlights. But McLoving is simply stupendous. He is a character that easily could have turned out awful and annoying, but is really great in the end giving many hilarious lines and again great facial expressions. He is such a memorable character.
Now, the supporting characters are lacking naturally when compared to these three, but they are still not bad. The female ones are weaker and not that memorable, but the two officers are superb. They are so funny and stupid but also so caring in their relationship with McLovin that the three had many great moments together. And yes, the two got too much of the screen time, that’s for sure. But at least they weren’t annoying as they were mostly funny and likable in my opinion.
The acting is terrific. This is definitely one of the best performances I’ve seen from Jonah Hill and quite probably the very best. He is excellent in this role. Michael Cera is also really good and although this is a familiar role for him, he still plays it very well. Christopher Mintz-Plasse is of course stupendous in the role of McLoving which is a role that defined his career. Emma Stone is naturally very good in one her earlier roles and Bill Hader and especially Seth Rogen are also great and very funny. All of the performances are superb here.
It does have its flaws. As with ‘Knocked Up‘ from the same year, Superbad is too long for this kind of film, way too long. I would have reduced the running time to an hour and a half. It is prolonged which is best seen in some of the later scenes in the second act where it drags a bit. The third act should have been longer and the second should have been shorter. It also could have had more dramatic scenes in the first half, but the tone is mostly well handled. The dialogue is also mostly good and the humor is excellent for the most part. It is a highly memorable experience which is one of its biggest strengths.
Superbad is such a memorable and instantly recognizable film with many funny, well developed and realistic characters, superb acting across the board and many hilarious moments. It is too long and sometimes typical, but it is always funny and even dramatic and smart from time to time. It is a fun movie that is also emotional and filled with likable characters.