Superbad (2007)

(Crackle streaming, February 2015)  For some reason, I managed to miss this now-cornerstone of 2000s American comedy until now –I’m not a big fan of teen comedies (Proof: American Pie is still on my to-watch list) and Superbad seemed to be, what, redundant?  Michael Cera acting like a nerd, Jonah Hill like an over-caffeinated potty-mouth?  No surprise there.  But there’s such a thing as best-of-breed movies, and while Superbad doesn’t exactly break molds or revolutionize genre, it’s pretty much hitting all the cylinders that a contemporary teen sex comedy aims for.  It’s superficially crass and aggressive, but it doesn’t take too much tinkering to find the honest beating heart underneath, the paean to friendship and the curiously conventional values at the foundation of the film.  But it works relatively well despite a few lengths, and with a few years of retrospection, you can see not only Cera and Hill’s early-career prototypical roles, but also early good turns by Emma Stone and Christopher Mintz-Plasse.  The result may not be subtle nor unique (co-writers Rogen and Goldberg would go on to make an entire string of films about young-male friendship) but it works as it should.  More broadly, as a piece of significant filmmaking, Superbad fits perfectly in the rise of Judd Apatow as a comedy producing powerhouse. 

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