To paraphrase a popular ditty currently climbing the R&B charts, Michael Cera and Jonah Hill are comedic movements by themselves, but a force when they’re together. Starring in this week’s ode to teenage male bonding, the pair of comic talents — one a lovable potty mouth, the other a master of the deadpan — are about to give audiences one of the funniest movies of the year. We’ve got our own reasons for loving Superbad, and here they are.
Anyone who doesn’t remember high school as an awkward vortex of hormonal angst is perhaps a bit too well-adjusted for Superbad (directed by Greg Mottola, produced by Judd Apatow and Shauna Robertson), but the rest of us know exactly what Seth (Jonah Hill) and Evan (Michael Cera) are going through. These guys try to play it cool with the girls, hang with each other instead of at the cool parties, and agonize over obtaining the holy grail of teenage loot: alcohol. Yup, we know the deal.
He’s stolen scenes in so many movies lately (The 40-Year-Old Virgin, Accepted) that it’s about time we get more Hill for our movie-going buck. His role in Superbad is about as perfect a job as there could be for the 23-year-old actor; no matter how vulgar the line, we see a little bit of ourselves in Hill’s Seth. That is, somewhere beneath Seth’s years of porn connoisseurship and a borderline-obsessive fixation with sex, girls, and liquor. Thanks to Hill, we’ve heard some of the funniest lines of the summer, including Knocked Up‘s “Rhymes with smishmortion” and plenty of Superbad expletive-filled tirades that we can’t repeat here.
At the tender age of 19, Cera has already built a cult following thanks to his turn as the painfully shy George Michael Bluth on Arrested Development. As Superbad‘s Evan, Cera, already a master of the awkward pause, gives us all the accidental boob-punching and social discomfort that we can handle. Plus, he danced for an hour straight at co-writer Evan Goldberg‘s request, which was memorably turned into Superbad‘s silhouetted opening sequence. We can’t wait to see the whole thing as a DVD feature.
What can we say about McLovin that can’t better be conveyed by watching Superbad itself? Newcomer Christopher Mintz-Plasse answered a casting call for the role of Seth and Evan’s blissfully confident pal Fogell — the nerd with the soul of a gangsta — and steals some of Superbad‘s best scenes. This bespectacled, vest-wearing “25-year-old Hawaiian organ donor” flaunts the world’s worst fake I.D with the tenuous poise of a true underage buyer in a liquor store and makes us cringe with recognition. We know what time it is. This is the summer of McLovin.
It’s nice to watch a movie about teenagers that is unafraid to sound like a movie about teenagers. The Superbad kids drop F-bombs like there’s no tomorrow, argue the nuances of pornographic cinema, and are generally just as obsessed with girls and sex as we remember boys being when we were in high school. (Guys, I dare you to disagree.) Prepare yourself for a barrage of vulgarity (because let’s face it: those who can’t, obsess) concerning BJs, boobs, sex, menstruation, and the best closing-sequence penis cartoon in movie history.
Pundits find it impossible to discuss Superbad without mentioning the involvement of producer Judd Apatow, who built his own cult following with a pair of intensely loved but prematurely cancelled TV shows (Freaks and Geeks, Undeclared). He’s had a hand in some of the best comedies of recent years (The 40-Year-Old Virgin, Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy, Knocked Up) and has a bunch more on the way (The Pineapple Express, Drillbit Taylor, Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story). You might say he’s the King Midas of the R-rated comedy, because almost everything and everyone he works with — from James Franco to Seth Rogen to Jonah Hill — becomes a star overnight.
Once Knocked Up hit theaters earlier this summer, Seth Rogen’s fate as his generation’s first comic star was sealed. Rogen not only co-wrote Superbad (with Evan Goldberg, based on their own friendship), he also appears as one of a duo of cops that Fogell meets while using his fake I.D. SNL’s Bill Hader, who himself is stealing more and more scenes in films like Hot Rod and appears in a few upcoming Apatow projects, is the other officer; together they put the squeeze on an unsuspecting McLovin during an unforgettable beer busting, target shooting ride-along that reminds us that everyone gets a little existential every now and then.
They’re Superbad, baby. Bootsy Freaking Collins says so! How on earth did the filmmakers of Superbad get some of the world’s funkiest musicians to score a film about three geeky kids getting alcohol? We don’t know, but we’re glad they did, because the only thing that makes watching Michael Cera running away from cops any more enjoyable than it already is (and trust us, it’s hilarious on its own) is watching him run to the dirty, funky sounds of a Bootsy Collins bass line. Check out the Superbad soundtrack MySpace page for plenty of tunes from the studio band comprised of Collins and his Parliament-Funkadelic and JBs cohorts Catfish Collins, Bernie Worrell, John “Jabo” Starks and Clyde Stubblefield.
It must be awfully trying to promote a movie — non-stop press dates, getting the same questions over and over again, etc. — but when your interviewer is cheerily obnoxious, it’s probably even worse. “What does it mean to be Superbad?” asks a familiar-looking journalist in this junket clip. “How do you feel now that you’ve peaked?” Cera does his best to tolerate such questions in the infamous video, but Hill’s not having any of it. “I’ll go over there and rip the f***ing hair out of your f***ing head if you don’t shut up.” Yes, journalists can be bothersome. (In case you don’t know who that cheeky English interviewer is, go rent Hot Fuzz.)
What can we say? We love us some McLovin.
Superbad is in theaters today and is Certified Fresh at 85 percent on the Tomatometer. Go see it!