Monday, August 20, 2007

FILM Superbad is Super…boring

God bless everyone who loves the high school "quest to lose your virginity" movies. It's never really been my genre, despite the fact that I should identify with the nerd heroes of these films based on my own high school experience. But I don't. My gang didn't care about the parties where the jocks and the "popular kids" congregated because we were too busy making our own fun, while the nerds and geeks in the movies need to be recognized in the scope of the larger school environment.

That's all beside the point.

I came into Superbad hearing that it was both over-the-top and endearing, that it showed a lot of love to its nerd protagonists, and that it was maybe a little too long in the middle. I did really enjoy Judd Apatow's The 40 Year-Old Virgin (a high school movie played out with adults), and haven't yet seen Knocked Up but heard good things. Apatow's been doing a lot of press for this film, which he produced but didn't direct, and everybody says it has his stamp on it. Sounded good.

The thing I didn't expect out of Superbad was that it would be so boring.

Here's the plot: three high school nerds need to bring booze to a party where they hope to sleep with the drunken objects of their desires.

Here's the running time: Two hours!

Here's why it's boring: The characters. Namely, the main character of Seth, whose single-minded sex obsession is simply impossible to identify with. Then there's his friend Evan, who is sweet and nice and often fades into the background.

If Seth and Evan live in a world that skews close to the one we live in, their friend Fogell falls through the looking glass into a world that's as unrealistic as a Saturday Night Live skit. It's a pretty funny skit, and that's where most of the laughs come into play, but like on SNL the skit lasts way too long. The two cops who adopt Fogell and for some reason strive to gain his acceptance and have him look up to them, in the world of the other two main characters would be the worst, most corrupt cops in Los Angeles. And that's saying something. But their corruption is nothing but harmless fun.

When it comes right down to it the sweet reality of the boring best friends is diminished by the comedic cop story, while Fogell's funny storyline is diminished by the dull groundedness of the other plot which calls its corruption into question.

Whatever. It's a lowbrow movie of low ambition, and I think that because it exceeds that low ambition by becoming a harmless movie that pretends to offend it succeeds. The movie did really well on its opening weekend, and it'll play even better on video. I recommend that you wait and watch it there.

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