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Superbad: Totally UNRATED, DUDE, EDITION, DUDE Review
by Doom, the Red Fox, Generalissimo Furioso, Nixon and Nerdlinger
Another comedy 'masterpiece' by Judd Apatow and his gang of comedy welfare buddies.
One of them is fat and the other is awkward! I GET IT
The 80s sex comedy is a genre I've always...uh...violently detested. To me, the sex comedy peaked with Animal House and has been going downhill ever since. Porky's sucked (all 47 of them), most of John Hughes' oeuvre was overrated and bland/boringly racist, and the less said about Fast Times at Ridgemont High, the better (Spicoli destroyed the movement for legalizing drugs). So I had apathy towards Superbad until I found out the producer: Judd Apatow. "Dammit!" I thought to myself. "Judd Apatow strikes again!" Although this is not a picture he directed, production is just as bad if not worse, for production connotes his 'brand' of 'humor' having free reign. Haven't we seen enough goddamn 'it's gross, but it has heart!' pseudo-comedy movies? Didn't Apafuckyou say what he needed to say with The 40 Year Old Virgin and Knocked Up (his directorial holocaust efforts)? Apparently fucking not. I hate America.
Superbad's supposed to be a coming of age comedy or some other shit set during the last days of high school. From everything I gathered when talking to people, it's supposed to be funny since you can relate to it so well or whatever. Yet none of it actually resembles any high school life experienced by a factual person. The lead characters are supposed to be the nerd/losers of the school and are trying to get laid before their high school careers end. The first half of the film involves them talking about fucking a lot, and also a fair share more than they should be about dicks. Listen, if my extensive research into the nerd/loser community proves anything, it's that this never happens. One, nerds don't talk about sex that much. In fact, they don't at all. They talk about a lot of shit, a lot nerd shit, but sex never really works its way in. It's generally a foregone conclusion due to how repressed most nerds are and how frank discussion of sex and specifically their sexual virility opens a lot of Pandora's boxes. Second, nerds definitely don't talk about dicks that much. In fact, considering that nerds are one of the most homophobic groups ever, they never talk about dicks, except to comment how other people bringing up dicks are gay. The second half is a hilarious comedy of the difficulty of getting liquor in high school, except you know that's not really hard and you don't need to get fake IDs and all that shit. Here's where all the "funny shit" happens, like the wacky cops and McLovin and all those memorable moments that will be relived on T-shirts and at Halloween parties for years to come. Eventually everyone gets laid (albeit with hi-LARIOUS consequences) and the film ends. That's about it. Well, not so much 'about'. About would imply there possibly being more to it than a barebones plot and obvious jokes. There's not.
80% of the film = fat kid yelling at perpetually awkward Michael Cera.
LET'S GO GET DRUNK! WHOOOOOOOO! So, this film basically (if you forget all the parts where Jonah Hill screams about sex) is a giant scene about a bunch of high school kids trying to find liqour for their little party. The thing is, it is much easier for a high shcooler to get booze than this film tries to demonstrate. All they have to do is find any liquor store, give some guy who is going in a fifty, to pay for both his booze as well as theirs, and there you go. Simple, effective, and doesn't take as much effort as it may seem. Sure, it costs some extra cash for this method but hey, at least that way they have the booze. Am I right, people?! They needn't worry about going to some party to steal their booze or having a pedophile help them. It is the simplest way and the most effective. Alternately, they could get a homeless man to do it for them. That's a surefire way of procuring any kind of liquor. Trust me; I know.
I am, quite frankly, ashamed about how alcohol is portrayed in this film. For one, all of these parties that these people go to have people with several different types of hard liquor, yet none of these places have any type of mixers whatsoever. How can these idiots try to drink vodka or tequila straight out of the bottle when it appears that none of them have ever had a drink of booze in their lives. They would have all been passed out in roughly two minutes after they started drinking if this were reality. But no, in Superbad everyone has room for more. Sadly, they also use a great deal of beer as a substitute for the hard liquor, in one case Old Milwaukee. Old Milwaukee might be considered one of the worst beers on earth, but that shouldn't be a problem for these "expert" drinkers. As always, Hollywood homogenizes all alcohol experiences as getting drunk, throwing up, passing out and acting wacky. Speaking as a lover of all kinds of alcohol, I can tell you those clichéd situations rarely if ever happened to me. For shame, Hollywood.
Inexplicably, the guys get the girls at the end. For all this 'true to life' bullshit critics spew about this movie, this sure don't seem realistic!
At the time of me writing this, this movie is considered sheer comedic genius by idiot college people. I'm pretty sure this is due to the fact that apparently nerds are the new "cool" thing for Hollywood to take and exploit for capital gain. I'm not a fancy big city lawyer, but it seems to me that there's no such thing as a "cool" nerd, especially the ones portrayed in these movies. I can personally attest to the fact that I was never asked to bring booze to a party with my fake ID; as a matter of fact, I can definitely say that the only thing I was ever asked to do was go away or do something zany (like speak in Klingon). Judd Apatow and those of his ilk appear to conflate 'slackers' and 'nerds' when they're actually two decidedly different subsets of freak. If these people went to the same school that I did, then they'd be in charge of the retarded clique, hands down.
So yes, the portrayal of "nerds" is highly off in the movie. In addition to never going to parties, nerds don't go around talking about how much they want some to go fuck a girl. Nerds talk about actual nerd shit. Like "Who's stronger, Sentry or Superman?". These conversations either end in both coming to some agreement, or the two fighting over their Nerd Rage because the two of them have differing views. Nerds don't constantly go on about their sex lives to one another, they go on about shit they have common knowledge about (BURN!). The writers barely did any fucking research, because if they did, then maybe there'd actual be some fucking nerd jokes other than "THEY DON'T GET PUSSY, HA HA HA HA!". Hence, these characters are not truly nerds/geeks; they're 'high school outsiders' who somehow manage at the end to still get pussy far out of their league despite never showing any social skills or any character qualities which could presumably net them such pieces of ass. It's Kevin James having a visible wife all over again.
And so marks the birth of a billion T-shirts.
The funniest character of the film's supposed to be McLovin, aka the palest, rapistiest nerd of the trio of losers. He gets that wacky fake ID, he gets the liquor, and he hangs out with cops, ISN'T THAT WACKY. I don't really get what's funny with him. He's beyond obsessed with sex; in real life he'd be jacking it to hentai in the basement along with driving around elementary schools in a large van. I think the character of McLovin both speaks to Hollywood's love of marketing and the shallow creation of characters. One: there's no way they thought up the character or his sayings without realizing how easily they could be put on a T-shirt idiots would gladly wear (I never really 'got' people wearing T-shirts with comedic lines from movies on them; do they think their recognizing a funny line will somehow transfer to people thinking the wearer of the shirt is funny? It's idiotic.). Two: the juxtaposition of beyond white guy and either suave sexuality or urban mannerisms has been done often before and not particularly done well in this conception. Look to Michael Bolton in Office Space as a funnier white guy who emulates black culture; that opening scene where he loses himself to listening to gangsta rap while carefully locking his door when he sees a black man come by is better than fucking anything in Superbad. Well, it's not as though the writers spent any time or intended to spend any time on the comedy. I suppose it's irrelevant to quibble over such details.
The other two characters are fat nerd and skinny nerd (without glasses). Both are gay for each other and aren't afraid to admit it. And yet, both have unnatural obsessions with "fucking" a "girl". But their homosexuality is key to the "comedy" of this movie, as people will just laugh endlessly, citing: "HA HA! They're gay for each other, I get it!". Do you understand the hilarity of ostensibly straight guys behaving in an emotional manner and having a bond transcending friendship? If not, Superbad's not for you. The homosexual subtext goes even further when the fat one reveals to skinny one that he drew pictures of penises constantly while in middle school. Yeah, it makes no fucking sense, and then they show several of the pictures he drew, and they are oddly very well detailed (why didn't anyone notice the fat kid was an art prodigy with his detailed, artistic depictions of cocks?). So then you have to think, someone was actually hired to draw those penises and got a commission for it. That, or it was some Japanese guy who just drew them for fun. Either way, I find the entire sick and not funny (frankly, when you've seen one penis inserted into a historical/pop culture reference, you have seen them all).
But if you thought the nerd characters felt annoying and overtly idiotic, wait until you see the cop characters played by Seth Rogen and no-name from SNL (he's such a no-name I don't feel compelled to check online for his name). I don't know what the writers intended for these guys, but they remind me of characters you would see in one of those ultra shitty 'screwball cops' pieces of media. Not a good one like Reno 911!. A bad one, like Police Academy or Supertroopers. Motherfuckers who use their authority to fuck people over in a zaaaaannnnny way. Imagine the NYPD if they raped a guy with a bicycle horn and you should understand what I am referring to. The cops in this movie are essentially the amalgamation of Vic Mackey and his autistic kids. They're supposed to be violent and corrupt, yet they're fucking autistic losers who needed to go to special Police Academy. In the suburbs, the cops are fucking lazy and will only respond to situations that are designated code Black (meaning Burnt Sienna or blacker). Personal experience tells me that these cops would have gotten raped and or sodomized by their superiors. Eventually, they would go insane and hold the station hostage while the National Guard surrounded them and burned them out. Oh wait, that was Waco. Still, my point stands.
Superbad seems - and I'm sure this was by design - to have been designed in a slipshod fashion, the plot often diverging into long, unfunny tangents which sacrifice any sort of advancement for set pieces, also known as the film's 'jokes'. For these guys, the tangents represent the strength of the movie. Since who cares about the plot or the characters or any sort of themes or built up comedic momentum when HEY GUYS THE DUDE GOT MENSTRUAL BLOOD ON HIM! GIRLS ARE ICKY EVEN THOUGH IF THAT SUBSTANCE WAS PUSSY JUICE HE WOULD RECEIVE A HIGH FIVE FOR HIS ABILITY TO FUCK A GIRL! If you've ever seen any of these fucking gross out movies, you know this shit happens. Bodily fluid + troublesome situation = HILARITY. I don't get it, man. I'm in my early 20s. I enjoy filthy humor. Why should I not like this? Oh yeah, now I remember: Apatow and his harem of lesser talented satellites have no idea of how to do comedy. According to them, if you throw in enough style and things people remember, no one will notice the lack of substance. They don't approach a movie as a movie so much as they approach it as an interconnected series of sketches attempting to confirm the "dirty" reputation they seek for themselves (as in, "hey, dude, Superbad did a PENIS SKETCH FLASHBACK! CITIZEN KANE QUALITY!"). Some defenders might disagree with my establishing Superbad as substanceless trash and opt for explaining Superbad as an examination of coming of age of the socially disaffected and their mannerisms which seem absurd and cartoonish to 'us' but painstakingly real to 'them'. But they'd be wrong. There is no depth. Just an avenue for jokes. Shitty jokes at that.
DAMN YOU, SETH ROGEN! WHY MUST YOU RUIN EVERYTHING, OR IN THIS CASE MAKE SOMETHING EVEN WORSE?!
To me, Superbad appears as one of those false narratives about teen life Hollywood loves to crank out. And appropriately, this false narrative is written by two dickbag du jours, Seth Rogen (of Knocked Up) and Evan Goldberg (of I fucking hope he dies). Heh, I get it. The fat kid is named Seth and the awkward Michael Cera-esque kid Evan. I wonder how they got their inspiration! From reading an article on its conception, apparently the two screenwriters, childhood friends, began the script during their teenage years. You know, that's EXACTLY what I thought Hollywood was missing: nepotism. Already untalented Seth Rogen needed his non-writer buddy Evan Goldberg (Goldberg has never had a job in Hollywood not shared by Rogen) to pitch in and spice things up and sell a movie to corporate Hollywood that edifies their experiences in high school and gets them a shitload of money. I assume their script contained about 30% of what appeared on screen and the rest came from improv. Apatow produced shit looooves improv. Improv, of course, means less work for everyone, as writers don't need to write and actors can just say "fuck" a lot in order to obscure the fact that the dialogue doesn't actually fucking go anywhere. Superbad typifies the laziness of comedy these days.
Comedy is so lazy, in fact, that Superbad is pretty much a remake of Dazed and Confused, minus the period piece aspect, minus the actual fucking meaning, minus the jokes, minus...anything good, really. The two films take the same concept and go different directions: Dazed and Confused ruminates on the past and operates through the lens of maturity and reflecting back on the idiotic trappings of adolescence and Superbad takes a shit and says "duuuude, what if they got the booze and then it, like, BROKE! There'd be booze everywhere! And some guy had a hilarious nickname which didn't befit him! HIGH FIVE, DUDE!". Apatow and company have taken the teenage coming of age formula and retrofit in some opportunities for catchphrases, merchandise and scenes to be excised of their context and put on YouTube. Such is our culture of instant gratification and celebrating immurity in the name of convincing 20 somethings to waste all their money on video games, HDTVs and nostalgic rubbish that this shit gets popular.
In tandem with this laziness is also cowardice. Apatow and Rogen and Goldberg and all the other fucking brainless morons who put together this movie don't want you to regard the movie as simply as an avenue for filth, so they inject some REEEEEAL EMOTION, man. Yet this 'real emotion' comes off as ersatz and as manufactured as anything in Knocked Up. The two guys want to get laid and they also are going to miss each other when they graduate high school and go off to their respective colleges! GET IT! DEEP. To me, the faux emotion suggests the kind of terrible James L. Brooks sentimentality inserted into his movies and sometimes Simpsons episodes, which manipulative the audience into sympathizing with unsympathetic characters so they feel better about themselves for spending $8 on thinly veiled sociopathy. Have some balls, Apatow. Make Jonah Hill a total misogynistic prick asshole instead of compromising and explaining it as a function of his complex emotions and insecurities and shit. Even though that explanation sounds complex, it's not, since all it amounts to is giving a token mention 'complex emotions and insecurities and shit' existing. I hate shallowness, but I hate shallowness masquerading as complexity even more.
In summary: Superbad? More like SUPERTERRIBLE. Yeah, that's not funny or clever, but neither is Superbad, so I don't feel obligated to use my A Game...
How many drinks do I need for this to be good?: 269 (HAHA,
69, GET IT, IT REFERS TO A SEXUAL POSITION MEN AND WOMEN CAN GET INTO)