Plot Details: This opinion reveals minor details about the movie's plot.
Most teen films tell about the same story as Superbad does. We get the nerdy, not-so-hot young male teenagers who try to lose their virginity before they go to college. This is something that's important for its own sake: not having sex during high school means that you've never had sex during high school.
Here, the two main characters are Seth (Jonah Hill) and Evan (Michael Cera). They are flanked by the uncoolest of the uncool, Fogell (Christopher Mintz-Plasse), whose appearance, dress code and delivery make him the prototype for "nerdiness." Even Seth and Evan find him annoying. Everybody knows that teenagers who have it all (or not) stick together because they pretty much have nothing but each other. In this sense, Seth and Evan's lack of popularity has made them inseparable.
Seth is the curly, chubby one and Evan is the tall, lanky, overly self-conscious one who has yet to grow into his body. Their desperation to have sex is such that they would have anything that moves, provided that anything is a tad less large and imposing than a sumo wrestler.
The two boys are shocked when the popular Jules (Emma Stone) invites them to a party, which the entire senior class appears poised to attend. Jules is the kind of girl who has the best of both worlds: the ability to blend in with the rest of the insecure teens and the assurance to rise above the entire high school jungle phenomenon.
But back to the party. Jules calls it a BYOAEE (bring your own and everybody else's). The quest for the entire movie is the one to buy booze. Their underage status forces them to come up with some incredibly creative ideas to buy booze, and Fogell becomes indispensable to Seth and Evan when he manages to get a fake ID. They worry about whether the alias "McLovin" will arouse suspicions.
However, they soon embrace the fact that there doesn't seem to be a greater cure to unpopularity than being the ones who bring the alcohol. Jules seems very grateful for them bringing the drinks, and Evan is shocked to see that the beautiful Becca (Martha MacIsaac), who smiles at him sometimes, is much more interested in him than he would have dared to hope.
The boys, with their ambition eaten up by years of rejection, don't care at all about being the guy who picks up the girl because she's too drunk to discern who she's having sex with. Fogell, in particular, gives a new meaning to the expression "by all means necessary."
Two cops show up (Bill Hader and Seth Rogen) and walk in on the party. The kids are lucky that these cops seem to long for the olden high school days and use their status to lean on the door and hang around. There are lost of events involving them and our three protagonists as well.
I'm not aware of a single teen movie not obsessed with body parts and foul language. That's not why I despise most of them. I do because most films of the genre are built on a flawed premise: that since adolescence is such a hard and uncertain part of life, kids find relief in seeing someone else experience the same problems. In other words, most teen films think that they let every teen, cool or not, feel confident and popular, because no matter whether they are nerdy or not, they can't suffer since they're not part of the story.
That's precisely the trap Superbad avoids. Through its raunching, foul-mouthed dialogue, it demonstrates how painful adolescence can be, and the effect it has on the nerds. Desperation would lead any of the three boys to drop the other two if it meant that they got to hook up with the cool crowd. Their discussions on sex are classless and ignorant, which is spot-on, because they can only speculate on what they don't know. But, unlike so many other teen films, we laugh at their goofy behavior and attitude, not at the fact that they are nerds.
The movie does away with the usual mean-spiritedness and finds truth as a reward. We can assume this is an auto-biographical film for Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg since they named the two main characters after themselves. Their greatest success with Superbad is that their writing shows an understanding of adolescence that only an adult could have, but still betrays a kind of bitteresque nostalgia towards the high school years that turns out to be the very reason why the film works.
Read all 33 Reviews
Write a Review
Viewing Format: DVD
Video Occasion: Good for Groups
Suitability For Children: Not suitable for Children of any age