Superbad might sound like a cross between American Pie and Porky’s, with a smattering of every other teen comedy ever made, and that’s because, basically, that’s exactly what it is. Originality is not the film’s strong point and it’s undeniably crass — as co-writer Seth Rogen cheerfully admitted to ScreenJabber recently.

In its defence though, you’ll only notice the complete lack of originality when you stop laughing. Which, if you see it this weekend, will probably be about a week next Tuesday. Even overlooking the almost constant knob gags — which are so relentless at times that they almost beat you into submission (and please excuse that mental image) — the sparky dialogue between the friends — named after co-writers Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg, which no doubt speaks volumes for the film’s horny teenage accuracy — is where the film’s charms really lie. And, as with Judd Apatow’s comedies, you don’t have to scratch too deep to find the film’s really rather poignant heart. This culminates in a drunken moment of male bonding which will stop you in your tracks, a remarkable achievement in any film but one that’s just spent 100 minutes discussing the ‘pounding’ of ‘vag’? That’s genius, my friends.

On balance, Knocked Up is probably still the more complete experience, but Superbad pushes it a close second. Funny, sweet and, while Rogen and the ever-reliable Bill Hader may almost steal the film as two less-than-authoritative policemen, it’s the relationship between Cera and Hill that you’ll remember.
SECOND OPINION | Hemanth Kissoon ★★★
Much hype or, if you are being generous, buzz has been surrounding the double effort from the Judd Apatow stables — Knocked Up and now Superbad. For all the excitement in anticipation of these two films, the end results underwhelm. Knocked Up was a pretty conventional profane romantic-comedy where a man learns about responsibility; and here Superbad follows in the footsteps of teen sex comedy American Pie on an adventure of guys hoping to get laid. The creative teams behind Superbad, Knocked Up and The 40 Year Old Virgin have learnt from the Pie ensemble that: sweetness + prurience = box office gold. Though cred to the Apatow posse for the attempt at a little analysis of relationships that have been bereft from the subgenres. Don’t get me wrong: Superbad is not poor, there are very regular guffaws to be had (take note Simpsons people), but the overall effect is that the film evaporates from the memory way too quickly — except for Evan and his home economics friend, and Fogell/McLovin, who is Napoleon Dynamite wicked.
Official Site
Superbad at IMDb

Stuart O'Connor is the Managing Editor of Screenjabber, the movie review website he co-founded with Neil Davey far too many years ago. He likes all genres, as long as the film is good (although he does enjoy the occasional bad "guilty pleasure"), and drinks way too much coffee.

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