So, yesterday evening, the wife and I decided to go see Superbad, the newest in a string of winners for Judd Apatow. Strangely, despite the great reviews the movie has been getting, there were like six people in the theatre, including us. That’s probably because it was Sunday, but still. . .
Anyway, every good comedy requires a great soundtrack, especially those awkward teenage movies which are really meant more for us thirty-somethings. A well-placed funk tune always gets you when they can catch you up in the “laugh and groove” transition to the next scene. Well, Superbad has a kick-ass soundtrack that includes Van Halen’s Panama, Ted Nugent’s Stranglehold, loads of great funk and a particularly painful rendition of The Guess Who’s These Eyes. . . . and I do mean painful. . .
Yeah, I damned-near laughed my ass off at this movie because every stupid, awkward moment with every girl throughout the picture was like a much funnier replay of my single years. All of them. That is, of course, the whole point of a comedy like Superbad: to look back on what it really meant to be young and single and give thanks that you’re not there anymore. There are moments, such as when Evan (played by Michael Cera of Arrested Development fame) is talking with the flirtatious Becca, trying to simultaneously brag about his non-existent social life and avoid discussing why he’s never at any parties, that just made me sink into my seat. I was Evan, once.
There are also some odd serious moments in the film. Not like that “a very special episode of Silver Spoons” kind of thing, but just some moments that sort of make your skin crawl because you know the kids are going to get into something all too common and none too fun. Seth’s drunken admission of his feelings for Jules – the kind of thing that can get you booted out of the booty-call roster with all but the most forgiving of girls – is one such moment. In fact, that whole scene, with all it’s moving parts, is really quite disconcerting for those who’ve been through all that once before. I’m not sure if they were meant to be so serious, or if that’s just me projecting. Either way, I’m glad the movie neither tries to proselytize or joke at those moments and just kind of lets them be what they are.
And they’re not enough to drag the movie down into the Robin Williams sappy territory. (Seriously, I dig Robin Williams, but can we see just one movie where he doesn’t do the “sad clown,” crying at the end of the movie thing? Just one?) In fact, when you get into the schmaltzy post-script moment when Seth and Evan finally come to terms with their separate futures in college, it’s actually one of the funnier moments in the movie.
And oh, yeah. My favourite line from the whole movie:
“Hey, we just cock-blocked McLovin. We should be guiding his cock, not blocking it.”