Saturday, September 01, 2007

MOVIE REVIEW: "Superbad"

"Superbad" is just that. Superbad. The film tries hard to be the "Animal House" of the 00s. At least that's what I assume it is self-consciously trying to do; witness the constant Dartmouth College references in their film ("Animal House" was supposedly patterned on the DKE fraternity parties at Dartmouth.)

Superbad is not only juvenile-ly gross in content; that I can handle: I liked (all right, I appreciated) "Knocked Up" and "The 40 Year Old Virgin". In fact I laughed out loud at a lot of the antics in those two films. But Superbad is not just juvenile in content, it is juvenile in form. It starts off in a long, undramatic, bitch-session in the convenience store (really just a stand-up gross comedy act a deux) between its two leads; and it goes dramatically nowhere from there. The dramatic premise of the whole film seems to be: will they or will they not get a high school 'blow-job' before going off to different colleges. For me is not a sustainable two-hour dramatic arc. (Oh, I know...the script does develop--between fart/shit/vomit/period/sperm jokes--a sappy 'love-story-betwen-two-young-men; sort of a yuppie "Brokeback Mountain"...even with the smarmy obligatory sleeping bag scene...but forget's still a boy/girl blow job film.)

Someone mentioned that the writer/star Seth Rogan first wrote the script in high school (which is of course prime wanting-more-than-getting blow job age); and since Seth and his producer, Judd Apatow, have gotten so hot, it's been tweaked, and worked on, and polished (if that is an appropriate term in this case) into its present form.

But...when you're hot, you're hot. To a Hollywood money-men/producers, Seth Rogan and Judd Apatow can do no wrong. They are on a financal roll. And they didn't fail in this film: the grosses are proving it. Gross content----->gross $$$; that's the formula.

I remember a few years ago when Eddie Murphy was scalding-ly/financially hot in Hollywood: Billy Wilder suggested that a producer to hire Eddie for the film the producer was planning to do: the Producer said: "But Billy, Eddie Murphy's all wrong...color-wise, age-wise, gender-wise." Billy, shrugged, unaffected by those concerns: "Eddie Murphy will make you money doing the phone book.")

"Superbad" is the phone book. And the listings are all gross; money-wise or otherwise.


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