Superbad

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Superbad
Superbad Poster.png
Theatrical release poster
Directed byGreg Mottola
Written by
Produced by
Starring
CinematographyRuss Alsobrook
Edited byWilliam Kerr
Music byLyle Workman
Production
companies
Distributed bySony Pictures Releasing
Release date
  • August 17, 2007 (2007-08-17)
Running time
113 minutes[1]
CountryUnited States
LanguageEnglish
Budget$17.5–20 million[2][3]
Box office$170.8 million[3]

Superbad is a 2007 American coming-of-age teen buddy comedy film directed by Greg Mottola and produced by Judd Apatow. The film stars Jonah Hill and Michael Cera as Seth and Evan, two teenagers about to graduate from high school. Before graduating, the boys want to party and lose their virginity, but their plan proves harder than expected. Written by Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg, the script began development when they were 13 years old, and was loosely based on their experience in Grade 12 at Point Grey Secondary School in Vancouver during the 1990s. The main characters have the same given names as the two writers. Rogen was also initially intended to play Seth, but due to age and physical size this was changed, and Hill went on to portray Seth, while Rogen portrayed the irresponsible Officer Michaels, opposite Saturday Night Live star Bill Hader as Officer Slater.

Upon release, the film received positive reviews, with critics praising the dialogue and the chemistry between the two leads as well as the performances of the supporting cast. The film also proved financially successful, grossing over $170 million on a $17.5–20 million budget. Since the film's release, it has garnered acclaim as one of the best comedies of the 2000s and as one of the best high school movies of all time. It has been hailed as one of the defining movies of the Millennial generation.[4][5]

Plot[edit]

Seth and Evan are high school seniors who have been best friends since childhood. They are about to go off to different colleges. When Seth is paired with Jules during home economics class, she invites him to a party at her house that night. Their friend Fogell reveals his plans to obtain a fake ID, so Seth promises to buy alcohol for the party with money she gives him. Evan runs into his love interest Becca and he offers to get her a specific bottle of vodka for the party.

Despite Fogell's fake ID having only one name, "McLovin", he successfully buys the liquor, but is knocked out at the last second by a robber. When police officers Slater and Michaels arrive, Seth and Evan believe that Fogell is being arrested. In reality, the officers have agreed to give him a ride to the party.

Outside, Seth is hit by a car. In exchange for Seth and Evan not telling the police, the driver, Francis, promises to take them to another party where they can get alcohol. Meanwhile, Slater and Michaels take Fogell on a ride-along and then bond with him. Despite being on duty, they start drinking, use their sirens improperly, and shoot at a stop sign.

At the party, Seth fills laundry detergent bottles from the basement with alcohol he finds in the fridge and dances with drunk Jacinda. She stains his leg with menstrual blood, while some men high on cocaine make Evan sing "These Eyes" for them. About to leave, Seth is confronted by the host for dancing with his fiancée. A brawl ensues, Jacinda calls the police, while Seth and Evan escape.

Evan and Seth are arguing about Evan going to a different college from Seth, before the latter is again hit by a car – the police cruiser driven by Slater and Michaels. They plan to pin the blame of the crash on Seth himself and arrest them, but when Fogell comes out of the car, Evan makes a run for it, while Seth and Fogell escape with the alcohol. Eventually all three make their way to Jules' party.

Arriving at the party, Fogell inadvertently reveals that he and Evan will be rooming together at college, further adding to Seth's discontent towards Evan. Seth's stories of the night make him popular. Becca wants to have sex with Evan, but he respects her too much to go through with it while she is drunk.

Meanwhile, Fogell impresses Nicola and goes upstairs to have sex with her. Seth drunkenly attempts to kiss Jules, but she turns him down because she neither drinks nor wants Seth while he is drunk. He believes he has ruined any chance of anything with her and passes out, accidentally headbutting her and giving her a black eye.

Slater and Michaels bust the party. Seth wakes up and escapes, carrying an intoxicated Evan. Slater interrupts Fogell and Nicola as they are having sex, causing her to run off. Officer Slater is angry at Fogell for ditching them, but Michaels points out they have just interrupted him, and they apologize, reconcile, and reveal they knew all along that Fogell was not 25 as the ID said; They played along, wanting to show cops can have fun too.

To make it up to him, they pretend to arrest Fogell outside to make him look "badass." They resume their bonding, eventually destroying their car with a Molotov cocktail while Fogell shoots it with Slater's gun.

Seth and Evan return to Evan's, where Evan admits he does not want to room with Fogell at college next year but is afraid to live with strangers. They apologize to each other before reconciling. The next day, they go to the mall where they run into Jules and Becca. Becca and Seth both apologize for their drunken behavior the previous night, and the boys pair off with the girls. Seth takes Jules to buy concealer for her black eye, while Evan and Becca leave to buy comforters, one to replace the one she ruined by vomiting on it.

Cast[edit]

Production[edit]

Development[edit]

Superbad was written by Goldberg and Rogen during their teen years. It is loosely based on their own experience as seniors in Vancouver in the late 1990s, hence the character names Seth and Evan. Other characters and references were influenced by Goldberg and Rogen's adolescence, such as Steven Glanzberg, their peer at Point Grey Secondary School, characterized in the film as a loner.[6] According to an interview at an event panel in 2009, Fogell was also a real friend of Rogen and Goldberg. Rogen was initially slated to play Hill's character Seth, but due to his physical size and age, he played one of the police officers. When asked where he wants to be dropped off, Fogell tells the officers to take him to 13th and Granville, a nod to Rogen and Goldberg's favorite all-you-can-eat sushi restaurant in Vancouver.[7] Superbad took seven years to complete from early scripting in 2000 and filming from 2006 to 2007.

Filming[edit]

The film was primarily shot in Los Angeles in 2006.[8] Exterior shots of the high school were filmed at El Segundo High School.[9] The mall scenes were shot at the Fox Hills Mall in Culver City, California.[10]

Other filming locations include the convenience store at the beginning of the film, also in Culver City,[11] the liquor store where "McLovin" gets IDed in Glendale, California,[12] and the bar where the cops take McLovin for a drink is neighboring Los Angeles International Airport (LAX).[13] The scene where McLovin and the cops do donuts in the cop car was filmed in a parking lot on the California State University, Northridge campus.

Mintz-Plasse was 17 at the time of filming Superbad, and as a result, his mother was required to be present on set during the filming of his sex scene.[14][15]

Reception[edit]

Box office[edit]

Superbad opened at number one at the United States box office, grossing US$33,052,411 in its weekend from 2,948 theaters for an average of US$11,212 per theater.[16] The film stayed at #1 the second week, grossing US$18,044,369.[16]

The film grossed US$121.5 million in the United States and Canada and US$48.4 million in other countries, for a total of US$169.9 million worldwide. Compared to the budget of $17.5–20 million, the film earned a huge financial profit,[3][2] making it the highest domestic grossing high school comedy at the time (it was surpassed by 21 Jump Street, a film also starring Hill, in 2012).[17]

Critical response[edit]

On Rotten Tomatoes the film has an approval rating of 87% based on reviews from 207 critics, with an average rating of 7.40/10. The website's consensus reads, "Deftly balancing vulgarity and sincerity while placing its protagonists in excessive situations, Superbad is an authentic take on friendship and the overarching awkwardness of the high school experience."[18] On Metacritic, the film has a score of 76/100 based on 36 reviews, indicating "generally favorable reviews."[19] Audiences surveyed by CinemaScore gave the film a grade A− on scale of A to F.[20]

Mick LaSalle of the San Francisco Chronicle called it 2007's most successful comedy.[21] Roger Ebert of the Chicago Sun-Times had the headline of his review read "McLovin It," and gave the film 312 out of 4 stars, and said "The movie reminded me a little of National Lampoon's Animal House, except that it's more mature, as all movies are."[22] Carina Chocano of the Los Angeles Times said "Physically, Hill and Cera recall the classic comic duos—Laurel and Hardy, Abbott and Costello, Aykroyd and Belushi. But they are contemporary kids, sophisticated and sensitive to nuance"; she added, "I hope it's not damning the movie with the wrong kind of praise to say that for a film so deliriously smutty, Superbad is supercute."[23] Sean Burns of Philadelphia Weekly said "2007: the year Judd Apatow and Seth Rogen saved movie comedy", a reference to Knocked Up which was released in June.[24] Devin Gordon of Newsweek said "As a Revenge of the Nerds redux, Superbad isn't perfect. But it's super close."[25]

In a more critical vein, Stephen Farber of The Hollywood Reporter, compared the film to other films with a single-day structure, such as American Graffiti and Dazed and Confused, but said that Superbad "doesn't have the smarts or the depths of those ensemble comedies."[26] The Hollywood Reporter review was referenced in the film's DVD audio commentary, particularly the review's suggestion that the two main characters have a homoerotic experience similar to the film Y Tu Mamá También.[27] Adam Graham of The Detroit News said, "the cops belong in a bad Police Academy sequel, not this movie", and also that the film "falls short of teen-classic status."[28] Roger Moore of the Orlando Sentinel called the film "super-derivative", "super-raunchy", and "Freaks and Geeks: Uncensored." Moore went on to say the film shamelessly plagiarizes from films such as Can't Hardly Wait and American Graffiti. He also said, "Like Knocked Up, this is a comedy they don't know how to end. The energy flags as it overstays its welcome." Wesley Morris of The Boston Globe said the film "has a degree more sophistication than Revenge of the Nerds and American Pie, and less than the underrated House Party." Morris also said, "the few smart observations could have come from an episode of one of Apatow's TV shows" and "I wanted to find this as funny as audiences did."[29]

Accolades[edit]

The film was listed as #487 on Empire's 500 Greatest films of all time.[30]

Won
Nominated

Home media[edit]

Superbad was released via DVD, UMD and Blu-ray on December 4, 2007,[2] in two versions: theatrical (113 minutes) and unrated (118 minutes). Special features include deleted scenes, an audio commentary with cast and crew, line-o-ramas (a feature most associated with Apatow films), a making-of, and a number of short featurettes.

Books[edit]

Two tie-in books to the film were published by Newmarket Press:

  • Superbad: The Illustrated Moviebook (ISBN 9781557047984) was published on December 4, 2007, to coincide with the release of the film on DVD. This official companion book includes an introduction by producer Judd Apatow; the complete script by Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg; commentaries by Apatow, Rogen and Goldberg, and journalists from Rolling Stone, The New York Times, and Entertainment Weekly; 56 film stills; "Mr. Vagtastic Guide to Buying Porn;" and 24 "phallographic" drawings by David Goldberg that viewers will recognize from the film's end credits.
  • Superbad: The Drawings (ISBN 9781557048080) was published on February 14, 2008. This gift hardcover art book contains 82 "phallographic" drawings created by David Goldberg (Evan Goldberg's brother) for the film.

Soundtrack[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "SUPERBAD (15)". British Board of Film Classification. July 5, 2007. Retrieved June 1, 2019.
  2. ^ a b c "Superbad (2007) – Financial Information". The Numbers.
  3. ^ a b c "Superbad (2007)". Box Office Mojo. IMDb.
  4. ^ "Why 'Superbad' Is The Greatest Millennial Comedy Of All Time". Bosshunting. July 30, 2021.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  5. ^ "Readers' Poll: The 10 Funniest Movies of the 2000s". Rolling Stone. July 30, 2014.
  6. ^ "Seth Rogen's Vancouver high school misadventures hit the big screen". CBC News. August 17, 2007.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  7. ^ Rogen, Seth. "It's also where the all you can eat sushi place that we used to go to all the time in high school was". Twitter. Retrieved April 5, 2021.
  8. ^ "Where was Superbad (2007) Filmed". Wwifdb.com. August 17, 2007. Archived from the original on February 9, 2013. Retrieved February 27, 2013.
  9. ^ "Superbad (2007) – High School Exterior". Wwifdb.com. Archived from the original on September 18, 2012. Retrieved February 27, 2013.
  10. ^ "Superbad (2007) – The Mall". Wwifdb.com. Archived from the original on February 9, 2013. Retrieved February 27, 2013.
  11. ^ "Superbad (2007) – Convenience Store". Wwifdb.com. Archived from the original on February 9, 2013. Retrieved February 27, 2013.
  12. ^ "Superbad (2007) – McLovin get's ID-ed". Wwifdb.com. Archived from the original on February 10, 2013. Retrieved February 27, 2013.
  13. ^ "Cops take McLovin to a bar". Wwifdb.com. Archived from the original on February 9, 2013. Retrieved February 27, 2013.
  14. ^ "Is this it?". The Guardian. January 16, 2009. Retrieved July 24, 2016.
  15. ^ Andrew Buss (August 17, 2022). ""It's Either Going to Be Really Funny, or They're Going to Be Horrified": An Oral History of Superbad". Vanity Fair. Retrieved September 2, 2022.
  16. ^ a b "Superbad (2007) – Weekend Box Office". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved September 24, 2007.
  17. ^ "Charts – High School Comedy". Box Office Mojo. Archived from the original on July 10, 2018. Retrieved February 27, 2013.
  18. ^ "Superbad (2007)". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved March 10, 2022.
  19. ^ "Superbad". metacritic. Retrieved September 3, 2007.
  20. ^ "Cinemascore". Archived from the original on December 20, 2018.
  21. ^ LaSalle, Mick (August 16, 2007). "Review: Teens on a mission to buy booze in 'Superbad'". SFGATE. Retrieved December 22, 2021.
  22. ^ Ebert, Roger (August 16, 2007). "Reviews :: Superbad". RogerEbert.com.
  23. ^ Chocano, Carina (August 17, 2007). "'Superbad's' teen raunch isn't what's shocking; it's the love story". Los Angeles Times. Archived from the original on August 24, 2007. Retrieved August 19, 2007.
  24. ^ Burns, Sean. "Geek Outlook". Philadelphia Weekly. Archived from the original on September 30, 2007.
  25. ^ Gordon, Devin (August 20, 2007). "Revenge of the Nerds". Newsweek. Archived from the original on August 28, 2007.
  26. ^ Farber, Stephen (August 7, 2007). "Superbad". The Hollywood Reporter. Archived from the original on September 30, 2007. Retrieved August 21, 2007.
  27. ^ The DVD audio commentary on the Superbad: Unrated Extended Edition DVD.
  28. ^ Graham, Adam (August 16, 2007). "Laughable roles". The Detroit News. Retrieved August 21, 2007.[permanent dead link]
  29. ^ Morris, Wesley (August 17, 2007). "It's a nerd, he's in pain – it's Superbad". The Boston Globe. Retrieved August 21, 2021.
  30. ^ "500 Greatest films of all time". Empire. Retrieved July 4, 2021.

External links[edit]