Despite this movie’s advertising campaign that states its for everybody no matter what your age, I found that it wasn’t really for me. It does contain some funny moments and even a few, really funny moments, but overall I didn’t find it to be nearly so good as it has been built up to be.
Like many a high-school comedy, Superbad centers on a couple of students looking to get laid. Seth and Evan are best friends living on the periphery of high school society. Evan’s just been accepted to Dartmouth, while Seth was not and so they know that their time together is limited. When they both happen to luck into an invite to a party, contingent upon them being able to provide the booze, they both see it as their chance for a last hurrah, and of course, as a chance to finally get laid. Most of the movie is about their attempts to get alcohol and almost the entire movie takes place over that one night.
Part of my problem with this movie is that I didn’t really like either character. Seth is vulgar and selfish. He’s rude to just about everybody. Sometimes its funny, but it’s also obvious why he’s not very popular. He doesn’t deserve to be popular. Evan is just plain dull. He goes along with Seth’s schemes without putting up a fight and is scared to tell him that he’ll be rooming with Fogle; a “friend” of theirs who’s even geekier than they are.
Unfortunately for them, the crux of their plan to get alcohol rests on Fogle’s shoulders. He has a newly obtained faked ID with which they plan to use to buy the booze. The fact that his ID says that he is a 25 year-old from Hawaii with the single name of McLovin, doesn’t help matters. Their problems get even bigger when the liquor store where McLovin tries to buy it is robbed while he’s paying for it and the police are called.
It’s here that the movie splits into two different parts. Seth and Evan go often on one tangent to find booze while McLovin ends up partying with the police and going on calls with them. The scenes with McLovin are easily the movie’s funniest parts. The two police officers are played by Seth Rogen (who co-wrote the script) and Bill Hader (Saturday Night Live). The three of them get drunk, practice shooting their gun and just generally have a good time like a trio of frat boys on a spree. Their conversations, which feel ad-libbed contain the funniest lines and get the biggest laughs.
Seth and Evan meanwhile, go on an overly long trip to a grown-up party where they attempt to steal some alcohol. They bicker and fight over little things, but really they’re fighting about their upcoming separation. Again, since I didn’t like either one of them, I didn’t really care about their argument.
Eventually the two storylines meet up again and they do finally make it to the party. Maybe I’ve just seen too many movies with big high-school parties, but by then, I’d really kind of lost interest in the story, except for McLovin’s part, who continues to entertain right up until his final scene.
Maybe it is just that I’m too old and too far removed from high-school to really get this movie. I don’t know. It does contain some funny parts and I wasn’t really bored, but despite the laughs, the ending of the movie didn’t leave me emotionally satisfied, or even leave me with any kind of emotional reaction at all. For a straight-out comedy this might not have been so bad, but this movie is trying to have heart at the center of it, but it’s a heart that I was never able to connect with.