• Daniel Rae

Superbad Review

"Superbad", Columbia Pictures, 2007

The Holy Grail of raunchy late night American comedies, Seth Rogan's debut not only brought about the 'stoner flick', but a whole model of mindless low-brow humour that he has since struggled to recapture. That may have something to do with the film's lightning-in-a-bottle quality that ripples throughout, balancing on a tight rope between the calculated absurdism of Adam Sandler's best movie from the 90s and the coming-of-age story it does a pretty decent job at pulling off despite the iconic lunacy it exists within.

Not quite cool and understated, not quite completely obnoxious, there is a surprising amount of finesse to the unfiltered-Hollywood style of immaturity that could only be made by a group of friends. The perfect casting of just about everyone involved rounds the tale of growing up with a comfortable charm that lets you in on the character's friendship on a surprisingly intimate and detailed level. Paired with precisely improvisational dialogue that actually manages to avoid becoming annoying and redundant, every dynamic is fully-realised, even if that gives way to a somewhat forced conflict of interest come the end of the 2nd act, as per. It's unnecessary tangents and, again, surprisingly, steady pace takes what its trying to say about strained friendships and sex seriously enough for relatability to be felt and for its crudeness to be questioned. Aside from its pretty standard approach to cinematography, its slightly retro-spin to the colours and outfits gives its 2000s era aura some personality beyond the charm of the characters that inhibit them. There's something to be said tonally too, remaining consistently nostalgic as the lighter and darker turns come from around the corner that are used as more than just a stepping stone for the narrative, showcasing the limits to the archetypes put on display. The humour it sells itself with succeeds when shooting for its not-laugh-out-loud quips, understanding the somewhat candid relationship its shared between.

Arguably the best 'Seth Rogan movie', 'Superbad' caters to all with its loveably dumb and comfortably-pathetic characters providing natural foils, as well as its admirably-calculated and personal spin when approaching the hurdles of sex that it just about manages to heave itself over.

4/5 Stars

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