Columbia Pictures (Producers), & Mottola, Greg (Director). (2007)[DVD]. USA: Sony Pictures Entertainment
Overweight motormouth Seth (Jonah Hill), rejected from Dartmouth, on his way to the State University, and his quieter and more academic Dartmouth-bound friend, Evan (Michael Cera) set out to buy alcohol for a party hosted and attended by the girls they each like. They must unwillingly enlist the help of their uberdork classmate Fogel, since he is the proud possessor of a new fake ID bearing the name McLovin’. As Seth and Evan wait outside for Fogel to some out with the liquor, the store is robbed, which sets the long night’s journey into day in motion. The journey back to the party with the alcohol involves a demented driver who hits Jonah Hill with his car,two insane policemen, and scary drug dealers who want to hear Michael Cera sing. When the two friends finally reach the party things grow even more complicated, as Seth is too drunk to express his feelings to the abstemious red-haired, independent Jules, and Becca is too drunk for Evan to lose his virginity. Fogel/McLovin’, in a triumph for geeks everywhere, gains the most prestige. Ultimately the film focuses on the deep friendship between the two main characters and recognizes the difficulty of maintaining such intimacy in the adult world.
About the author
Seth Rogen, who plays one of the cops, and big Judd Apatow collaborator Evan Goldberg, wrote this script when they were 13-15.
American audiences love those stories of long summer night odysseys at the end of high school, and this is the raunchy but hilarious updated offering. Overweight Seth and studious Evan must grudgingly associate themselves with superdork Fogel to secure alcohol for a party hosted by the girls they have crushes on.
The enthusiastic would say an archetypal, the more critical might say a plagiarized tale of a big night for teen friends at the end of their high school experience. Reminiscent of Can’t Hardly Wait, Better Off Dead, and of course, American Graffiti, the big change awaiting these boys, who are still children at the end of high school, is not sexual awakening but the looming loss of the intimacy of their friendship, a theme which seems to resonate with many young men today. The characters, though exaggerated for comic effect, were so recognizable to a high school teacher that I ended up confusing Seth with a real boy who had been in my class. The plot was a loosely assembled picaresque at best, but the movie was both hilarious and, ultimately, sweet.
Fun to imagine, but no.
Confidential: let’s match the characters with kids at your school!
Talk about how the boys are so much more clearly characterized than the girls.
Does the movie give the impression that men are actually afraid of women, on the whole? Is the movie right?
Reading Level/Interest Age
12-18 (YALSA List)
Numerous—sexual activity and explicit discussion; drug and alcohol use; incessant profanity
Gather student responses. Share reviews and awards listed at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Superbad_(film)
Major student recommendation; reviews
YALSA 2009 Fabulous Films List