By Lexi Feinberg
Fourteen years ago, Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg began writing "Superbad" for one reason: to see if they could churn out a decent movie. And while it's impossible to gauge what the script looked like when they first started scribbling ("Good Will Hunting" originally included evil FBI agents who threatened world peace … no, really) the final product in 2007 proves that yes, they sure can.
"Superbad," directed by Greg Mottola and produced by the unstoppable Judd Apatow, is a spirited, raunchy romp that plays like "American Pie" spiked with Kevin Smith's fixation on body part humor. The story revolves around two teenage friends, Seth (Jonah Hill of "Knocked Up") and Evan (Michael Cera of "Arrested Development"), who have their eye on hallway hotties Jules (Emma Stone) and Becca (Martha MacIsaac), respectively. With college rapidly approaching and the virtually inseparable boys headed for different dorms, they try, in prime high school fashion, to go out with a bang — literally.
This becomes more feasible for them (in theory) when they're invited to a year-end bash by the girls. The only catch is that they're asked to bring all the alcohol, a task they delegate to their fake ID-sporting buddy Fogell (hilarious newbie Christopher Mintz-Plasse), who tries to pass for 25 and goes by the name "McLovin." While trying to make the underage purchase, he gets punched by a burglar and meets two reckless, goofy cops (Rogen, Bill Hader) who drop everything to pass time with the "bona fide badass" dweeby kid.
Most of "Superbad" takes place in the course of one debauchery-filled evening, which includes car wrecks, fumbled attempts at sexuality and an influx of crassness that would make even Margaret Cho blush. A few highlights include a flashback of Seth drawing enough phalluses in the classroom to fill a gallery, and his mid-party revelation to end all revelations: "You used my leg as a tampon!"
While there are brief romantic flings in the movie, the central love story is clearly between Seth and Evan — think Dante and Randal with more spooning and less videos. They are a perfect odd couple: Where Seth is loud, boisterous and devoid of a mouth filter, Evan is sweet, clueless and awkward, a blossoming Woody Allen character in the making. The young actors are endlessly amusing in their roles, and are aided by a consistently funny laugh-while-you-cringe script set over an energetic soundtrack.
If you need a break this summer from destructive robots ("Transformers"
), forgetful spies ("Bourne Ultimatum"
) and D'ohs ("The Simpsons Movie"
), it wouldn't be a half-bad idea to check out "Superbad." After all, there aren't too many sex comedies worth getting, er, excited about.