Thank you "40-Year-Old Virgin". Thank you "American Pie" (the first two, not the inferior sequels that followed). Movies like these helped to revive the R-rated comedy. It's not to say that a movie has to have that forbidden "R" rating to be funny, but sometimes it is nice to prevent that watered down effect. We're all adults here. Every now and then we want an adult comedy. Even if high schoolers are the focal point of the plot. So thank you too, "Superbad".
I had mentioned a while ago in my "Accepted" review that the guy who stole the show was Jonah Hill. He now gets his turn to be first fiddle in "Superbad" and he doesn't disappoint. Seth (Hill) reminds you of that one kid in high school who would never be part of the "in" crowd no matter how hard he tried. And the beauty of his character is the great lengths he will go thru to try.
As if Jonah's talents weren't enough, he is supplemented brilliantly by Michael Cera of "Arrested Development" fame. So far, "Arrested Development"'s entire cast has displayed their abilities to succeed beyond the shell of the underrated series. It should really come as no surprise that Cera does the same. It doesn’t even matter that as Evan, he is essentially the exact same character from the show. When typecasting turns out that good, I have no problem with it at all.
I don't know about anyone else, but there were actually a couple of moments I felt a little uncomfortable. Not near as uncomfortable as the couple who brought their 11-year-old should have felt, but still. A lot of the kids in "Superbad" looked as though they were really high school age. If they were, it was almost Chester-ish to watch them fumble around with sexual situations. It did help that so much of it was laced with enough humor to look past that uneasy feeling.
I have never been a fan of the phrase "sophomoric comedy" for a couple of reasons. First of all, it is supposed to imply immaturity. But if that's the case, why is "sophomoric" even included in the title? Isn't a freshman more immature? I guess "freshmanic comedy" just doesn't have the same ring to it, even if it is more logical.
The other reason I don't like the term is it infers that you have to be immature to enjoy that type of humor. That should never be the case. you can never be too old for good comedy. I am now confident that I can live to be a senior citizen and still find myself laughing hysterically at "Porky's" type comedy that films like "Superbad" will continue to perpetuate.
"Superbad" succeeds because it taps into the inner geek in all of us. Many of us weren't the geeks in high school but we were all a little aloof at times. It provides the counterculture to the squeaky clean suaveness (and false reality) these "High School Musical" kids have overwhelmed us with. The real high school was much more "Superbad" than anyone may want to confess to.
My rating: A