Paul Malikkal


Superbad (2007)

Paul Malikkal

1. Superbad deserves to be taught in Screenwriting classes as an example of the everlasting power of the Campbellian monomyth in film. Of course, Superbad isn't as faithful to Campbell's theses as more traditional quest narratives like The Matrix and Star Wars, but it demonstrates how effective those ideas can be even when transplanted into a genre that's a far cry from adventure, science fiction, or fantasy.A quest to score some booze for the party your crush is throwing can feel as dire and incite as much self-discovery as defeating the Dark Side or overthrowing an oppressive overlord when handled properly.

2. Superbad has its fair share of ostentatious gags, like the Period-Blood girl, Fogell's fake ID, and the failed attempt at a liquor purchase. It shines in these broad strokes, but the film's comedic ingenuity is evident in its finer details. There's a "blink and you'll miss it" moment when Cera's Evan uses the phrase "full throttle" and off-handedly comments on his own remark with "like Charlie's Angels 2" (a film that used "Full Throttle" in its title). Superbad is chock-full of these brief moments of improvisational wit, which make it a pure joy to revisit.

3. High School Sex Comedies aren't and shouldn't be sources of moral guidelines for proper adolescent conduct, but isn't it refreshing to watch a film that supposedly belongs among the American Pie's and Porky's, that imparts some genuinely heartfelt, constructive wisdom regarding sex, love, and friendship?

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