Saturday, January 05, 2008


Superbad (Greg Mottola, 2007) [6]
I was going to give this a five but it's essentially so harmless, and in spots, funny enough that maybe I should give it a little more credit. I still can't see what all the glowing critical response is about, seeing that this is nothing more than a standard teen sex comedy. The key may be in that this film, unlike every other film of its ilk, comes flat out and addresses the homoerotic subtext between male characters that always exists in this genre. For its willingness to address that head on, I have to give it a little respect. The rest of the film is a little scattershot. The two lead performances are completely polarizing for me: Jonah Hill is completely unlikable as loud, vulgar Seth. I can't remember a performance of 2007 that I've loathed at points more than Hill as Seth, who is so overbearing and crass that it's at times dreadful. Granted, that's just my opinion but by this performance and his role in Knocked Up, I really don't like Jonah Hill as an actor. What did resonate with me was Michael Cera as Evan, playing a character similar to the one he played on Arrested Development. His awkward, somewhat uncomfortable comic timing makes the character of Evan enjoyable. Maybe I side with Evan more because that character is more similar to myself than I would like to believe but Cera sells it because he knows how to tone it down when he needs to, unlike Hill. Greg Mottola's direction isn't anything noteworthy but the argument has been floated around in other reviews that he brings more stability formally than if Apatow directed this. My opinion is that a film like this practically throws form out the window, so why even mention it. Mottola keeps the action moving along and that's enough. The story at times falls too much into cheap vulgarity (the whole menstrual blood on the pants thing) and for the film snob in me, juvenile comedy. The ending has a weirdly humanist vibe, as if the film wants to get out a poignant moment but just can't really do it after the dick and vagine jokes. The ideas of valuing friendship and the recourses of sex and drinking try to make themselves known but will the audience really get it after all the raunch? I really don't think so. Even so, any film that has Kevin Corrigan and David Krumholtz in oddball supporting roles will get a few points in my book, as well as Seth's home ec. rant and being the Iron Chef of pounding vag. I really want to like Superbad but there are so many other conflicting factors that make it difficult.

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