Saturday, January 26, 2008

TBG Reviews: Superbad

…or can a Black guy in his 30s enjoy a movie made for white folk in their teens and twenties?

The answer is a very definitive and unquestionable "yes"…with, a "but".

Superbad is absolutely worth the most of its hype (if not all its hyperbole). It's not just hyperventilatingly funny at times, but it might be the smartest movie where "f*ck", "d*ck" and "Becca" comprise 90% of the dialogue.

Since, as usual, I'm about eight months late to the summer movie praise party, I'll echo everyone else's sentiments: Michael Cera and Jonah Hill have some kind of on-screen chemistry. Their comedic synchronization is just phenomenal to watch, as their frequent bantering and bickering never sounds forced or phony.

Their "Evan" and "Seth" characters are in search of booze for a high school graduation party. If you don't know the plot, that about sums it up. Oh, and hilarity ensues.

Even though the movie is ostensibly about one night in their lives, it plays like a series of independent scenes that are only loosely tied together with the sophomoric story. That's not a dig, though (not even the "sophomoric" part). All of this just underscores the movie's frenetic vibe as tensions rise throughout the course of an evening gone awry.

Can't honestly say that everything works. The "Fogell" character and his "faux-negro" ways were annoying – and not in that "he was supposed to be annoying" way that the writers wanted. And, the whole excruciatingly extended sequence with him and the inept pair of cops had its moments, but it was more "miss" than "hit" for me.

Really, though, it's hard for me to find much else wrong. In fact, let's see how many Superbad references I can remember that had me howling out loud: the bloodstain, the Aladdin vest, the "division sign", the "Perfect 10", the "African Jew", the Asian kid in home economics, the Biggie Smalls song, the "little baby toes" nipples line.

That's seven or eight right there and I haven't even mentioned the backhanded McNugget of morality as it relates to drunk chicks and...well, y'know. Drunk chicks. Drunk!

The melancholy ending on the escalator was the perfect way to wrap up a movie about the waning days of high school, to boot. I'm not quite sure how this ended up on so many "Top 10 of 2007" lists (and, let's be honest, how did this awesomely raunchy cuss-fest escape the wrath of the same right wing kooks who abhor rap music? Don't act like you don't know the answer, either) but, it's surprisingly sweet and smart tones are a fine compliment for all the funny.

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