I think I've seen approximately 9.564 teenage comedies in my life (give or take a few...), so you could say I am somewhat of an expert on the genre. It all started with Porky's and Animal House, which I both saw on grainy video copies in the early days of home video recorders, and has continued with movies like Can't Buy Me Love, Ferris Bueller's Day Off, American Pie and 10 Things I hate about you. I'll admit that out of all those teenage comedies I have seen, most of them were either boring and cliched or awful and cliched, and only rarely do you get the chance to see a movie of this sort that is actually in the slightest possible way original. Especially in recent years, the genre has been murdered by uninspired movies one after another, which is why Superbad was such a shock. Here is a teenage comedy that is not only fun to watch and a breath of fresh air, but which might actually be one of the best movies in the genre I have ever seen.
I guess we have Judd Apatow, Seth Rogen and their ever increasing posse of friends to thank for that. They lit a firecracker under the romantic comedy genre with Knocked Up, and Superbad shows you that it is possible to make a movie of this ilk without resorting to rehashing the same old same old. Sure, the concept doesn't sound too devastatingly original at first. Two lifelong friends want to have one last night of partying before their last day of school, after which they will go to different schools and might not see each other as often anymore. Just like the boys in American Pie, the friends want to finally score. The more silent of the two, Evan (Arrested Development's Michael Cera) isn't too sure about their chances, but his brash friend Seth (Knocked up's Jonah Hill) has it all planned. "You know when you hear girls say 'Ah man, I was so shit-faced last night, I shouldn't have fucked that guy?'" he yells at his friend (like he does most of his conversing in this movie yelling). "We could be that mistake!" And when the girl he has the hots for asks him if he can supply the booze for a party she is throwing, it seems like they are in luck. Especially when their other friend Fogell reveals his plans to get his hands on a fake idea, which would make it a cinch for the guys to get their booze and win the affection of the girls they have a crush on.
And so a night of mishaps begins. I've seen many comedies about teenagers getting ready for a party and running into all sorts of problems on the way there, but I don't think I have ever seen the amount of trouble these kids get themselves into. From robbers to crazed cops to drugged out parties, it's as if nothing is spared our heroes. Of course, they never give up, and predictably they do end up at the party on time, but when they get there the movie shows what you have suspected all along while watching it: this movie isn't just some soulless Hollywood concoction, there's real heart here. The characters in this movie are real people, with real emotions, and even though what happens to them might seem a little bit unrealistic, Seth and Evan never are. You start to like them, not just because they are funny or goofy, but because they have feelings and show they respect the feelings of others.
This is in a big way thanks to the actors, who are all extremely likeable. Not just the stars, but also the girls portraying the objects of their desire, as well as Seth Rogen and Bill Hader as the cops you'll hope you will never meet in real life. And at times the conversations in this movie are hilarious. While a movie like American Pie is funny mainly due to the outrageous situations, this movie keeps coming up with both outrageous situations and memorable dialogue. It's one of those movies your friends will be quoting for the rest of their lives, or at least until the sequel comes out.