In every person’s life, there are more than a few occasions where you know you’re on the cusp of something that’s going to completely change everything in your life. There’s the knowledge of some precipice off in the distance, just waiting for you to drive your speeding car off of it. The average teen sex comedy (like “American Pie”) takes this universal feeling, combines it with the natural human desire to have engaged in the act of procreation before moving on to the next phase of life, tosses in some bodily function jokes, and makes a few hundred million at the box office.
While “Superbad” is a teen sex comedy, it is far from the brainless depths of other films of that overly-crowded genre. For starters, there’s more than a tertiary relationship between the two main characters, Seth (Jonah Hill) and Evan (Michael Cera). These two hopeless losers are actually friends, rather than acquaintances. Unlike the foursome of “American Pie,” who’d never be friends in real life, these two and Fogell (Christopher Mintz-Plasse, who may as well be in jail right now, because he steals every scene he’s in), AKA “McLovin,” are friends because, well, they’re all dorks. There’s no mixed bag of wacky companions designed to cross all race and class guidelines and draw in everyone, just a bunch of awkward-looking white kids.
While the movie is, on its surface, about getting laid at the last big high school graduation party, it’s so much more than that. It’s about friendship; specifically, it’s about the inevitable moment where you have to figure out what you’re going to do when you have to adapt that one truly strong friendship that’s always been there into something different. We’ve all been there, either when we graduated high school or when we graduated college. There’s a seismic shift in the things we knew and held to be true for years called growing up. Nobody wants to do it, but everyone does.
Want more pocket psychoanalysis by Ron for Ron and uninterested readers? Well, then go here and read the last few paragraphs of my “Superbad” review. You know you want to, he says as he shamelessly whores out yet another writing gig.