With two weeks left until high school graduation, best friends Seth and Evan are coming to grips with the fact that they will not be going to college together, and try to devise the perfect plan to get girlfriends for the summer with the sole purpose of learning to become masters of bedroom pleasuring before they become freshmen in the Fall. A sketchy plan comes to fruition when their annoying tag-along friend/nuisance Fogell gets a fake ID the same day that one of Seth’s lustful crushes asks him to come to a party she is having, and he offers to buy some booze.
That afternoon, Fogell attempts to purchase said alcohol, and when Seth and Evan think that Fogell is being arrested (though he is really just talking to two cops about a robbery), the co-dependant pair set out on epic journey into the night to score some booze in order to gain access to the party that should bring them into manhood. Meanwhile, Fogell sets out on his own fantastic adventure when he becomes a backseat companion to two of the coolest cops to ever hit the beat.
Filled with dialogue and characters that resembles the true-to-life realness and awkward shoe-scuffing outsiders of fan favorite Freaks And Geeks and the charming theatrical shenanigans of one of the better teen comedies of the past decade, Can’t Hardly Wait, Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg (who the two main characters are named after, and also somewhat resemble) create a truly offensive and lowbrow comedy with enough heart underneath to cut through the endless sex jokes and get to the true nature of their best friend characters.
Jonah Hill and Michael Cera, who respectively play Seth and Evan, are absolutely perfect in their roles as teenage dweebs. And even with both actors in twenties, they still look and act like real teenagers, a feat that is as rare to come by in “teen comedies” as a virgin cheerleader captain. The pair have such chemistry together on screen and such an honest portrayal of the characters that you can’t help but feel that you know them, and that you may even be them. It hurts more than it should when they bicker and argue, and you can’t help but laugh with them as a friend as they tear through the flawlessly age appropriate script.
When the action is not focused on Seth and Evan, it is on the separate storyline of Officer Michaels (Seth Rogen, of Knocked Up and The 40-Year-Old Virgin) and Officer Slater (Bill Hader of Saturday Night Live) as they drag Fogell through what is sure to become the most awesome night of his life. These two are best thing to happen to law enforcement since Steve Guttenberg became a man in blue, and it is a bummer that these two are relegated to a side story rather than in a feature length film of their own where these characters truly belong.
Rogen and Goldberg’s script, which they began together when they were thirteen, while quite humorous, is also one of the most deadbeat and spot-on depictions of high school life to grace any screen. Fans of Freaks And Geeks and My So Called Life will absolutely relish every brutal and awkward moment hoisted on the characters. And with what must be just beneath NC-17 dialogue, the quips and rants that are rattled through at a breakneck speed, especially Seth’s, are for better or worse as honest as anything you’d hear in your local cafeteria or in a telephone conversation out of reach of a parent’s ear range. What is mostly an added treat is that almost every single joke not only works, but will involuntarily induce out-loud laughter.
Unfortunately, the huge promotional push for the film has ruined several of the key punch lines and set ups in the movie. Anyone who has seen the multiple versions of the movie’s trailer will be able to put two and two together and figure out where something is going simply based on what has been given away in promo clips. It lessens the impact of some of the better material, but the solid strength of said material is able to overcome. Luckily the trailer doesn’t give away everything or even waste every single punchline in an effort to put butts in the seat and imply the movie is much funnier than it really is. There is one embarrassing joke that comes out of nowhere during one of Seth‘s confessions that has been kept under wraps during promotion. Eight percent of you will surely remember this from your own past, and all of you will get more than your fill during the closing credits in one of the most clever and nauseating parody montages ever.
Superbad is sure to become the current teen generation’s Revenge Of The Nerds as a rallying call of the outsiders and dweebs across the nation, while becoming yet another glorious feather in the cap of older filmgoers who spent their high school life avoiding eye contact with the popular girls and being spit on by the holier-than-thou bullies and jocks. If nothing else, the film gives all of the shy and soft spoken out there a mantra — if you like somebody, just talk to them. Or have some cops pretend to arrest you.