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For my first installment of Movie Monday, I have chosen one of my favorite movies of all time: Superbad.
Released in 2007, Superbad is the brainchild of Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg- the writers who named the main characters, Seth and Evan, after themselves. In fact, Rogen and Goldberg first began writing the script when they were 13 years old- a whole 12 years before the film’s release. The script is loosely based on their own adolescent experiences, as well.
Produced by Judd Apatow and starring Jonah Hill, Michael Cera, Emma Stone, Seth Rogen, and Bill Hader, Superbad is a star-studded classic. The cast comes together effortlessly, pulling you all the way into the story.
Superbad is a coming-of-age comedy at its finest. The premise is pretty simple, but the plot is anything but. Two dorky high school seniors nearing the finish line, Seth (Jonah Hill) and Evan (Michael Cera), are eager to lose their virginities before going off to college. They also want to make some wild memories before they part ways and head off to separate colleges, as they’ve been friends for as long as they can remember and are bummed about not getting into the same schools.
The perfect opportunity seems to arise when Jules (Emma Stone) is throwing an end-of-the-year party while her parents are away. She invites the boys, but there’s a catch- they must supply the booze for the function. In desperation, they call in their third-wheel friend, Fogell (Christopher Mintz-Plasse), who had recently obtained a fake Hawaii ID under the notorious name “McLovin”. From there, their simple mission turns into a wild goose chase.
Now that I’ve caught you up with the backstory, allow me to break down the highlights of this comedic classic.
THE HIGHLIGHTS OF SUPERBAD
Superbad is the product you receive when some of the best comedic minds on the planet come together and immerse themselves in the project with the same vision.
I mean, for starters, you have fat Jonah Hill and prime Michael Cera flawlessly depicting a lifelong, up-and-down friendship that almost any guy could relate to- constant gaming, drinking, and conversating about things you wouldn’t want anyone else to overhear. Superbad encapsulates all of the stupid memories and naive immaturity that come along with the high school years, almost making you miss high school (but not quite). By the end of the movie, you almost feel like you really know Seth and Evan and even feel bad that they won’t be going to college together.
Fogell is a great supporting character, responsible for many of the film’s most memorable lines and scenes. His awkwardness and false confidence are his greatest intangibles, painting the picture of someone who would actually choose to put just “McLovin” on their fake ID. Seth and Evan’s responses to his name choice were even better than the name itself:
Seth Rogen and Bill Hader have unforgettable performances, portraying fun-loving and highly-unprofessional police officers who form an unbreakable bond with “McLovin”. Officer Michaels (Rogen) and Officer Slater (Hader) have perfect banter with one another and satirically depict unqualified, hypocritical police officers who are only in the job for the loopholes that come with being the law. For example, they startle McLovin by turning on their sirens just to get through a crowded intersection while proceeding to laugh about it. They also shoot at public property for “target practice” and then run off when they hear other police sirens approaching. They drive drunk, even having a competition to see who can blow the highest BAC on their breathalyzer. While almost cringey at times, Michaels and Slater are an important backbone of the film’s comedic value. After all, Seth Rogen is the mastermind of the whole thing; obviously his performance is going to be one of the film’s best.
Jules (Emma Stone) and Becca (Martha MacIsaac) both play phenomenal roles, keeping the boys wrapped around their fingers until the end. Jules and Seth have a slight history, making matters more awkward when Seth goes back in for a second chance. Evan has a weird history with Becca, as he has been caught checking her out during math class and making poor attempts at flirting with her. However, things work out for everyone in the end. Kinda.
Superbad was one of the most important comedy films of the 2000s, ushering in a new approach towards both the comedy and coming-of-age genres. Superbad gave the world a taste of the stars that would come to dominate the next decade of entertainment, getting viewers hooked on unique, game-changing talents such as Jonah Hill and Seth Rogen. Furthermore, I feel that Superbad opened the door for films such as Pineapple Express, 21 Jump Street, Neighbors, and many other classics of the late 2000s/early 2010s.