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The Judd Apatow Sex Comedy Train keeps rolling in good form with Superbad. Apatow didn't actually direct this one, he produced it. Frequent collaborator Seth Rogen wrote the script with his friend and is a featured cast member. The stars of the movie are Jonah Hill, another common fixture of Apatow's movies, and Michael Cera, most easily recognizable for his brutally awkward character of George Michael on Arrested Development. Christopher Mintz-Plasse is new to acting, and his character will probably outlive the rest of the movie. Everybody already knows about "McLovin". I didn't think he stole the movie as much as some other people did, but he was certainly likable. Greg Mottola is the director, and he does a good job of what he has to do with this kind of movie. Nothing fancy, just pointing the camera where it needs to be and keeping the movie focused. The whole cast and crew seems to work well together, and for some reason I just find Apatow and friends' movies better than the average comedy. It's a combination of good chemistry, sharp dialogue over pure gross-out humor (although there are plenty of dick and menstruation jokes), and some scenes that actually convey human emotion.
The two main characters hold the movie down well. Their banter and rapport is very entertaining, and they just seem like funny, likable guys. Hill can be kind of a jerk, but there are plenty of scenes that sympathize him. Cera's character is fairly close to George Michael. He's less completely sheltered and a bit more normal, but still the same kind of worried, reserved guy. Almost the entire movie takes place over the course of one eventful day, which gives it a different feel from a lot of other comedies. At times it can be a little straining, as there's pretty much something happening constantly, and it probably could have used a bit of dowtime. The pacing also seems a bit odd, with a large part of the movie taking place after school and before getting to the big party, wherein the main characters don't do a whole lot. There's a big subplot with McLovin driving around with a couple of seemingly dimwitted cops (one played by Rogen, the other by SNL star Bill Hader), attempting to get ahold of the booze for the party. The scenes are funny, but stretch the suspension of disbelief a lot and are maybe a bit distant from the real focus of the movie.
A few misgivings aside, Superbad is a very funny movie, with plenty of memorable lines and scenes. I'm not sure how much of the great dialogue was scripted and how much was improvised on set, but either way it's pretty smart. The goal of the two leads is to get to a party and hook-up with a certain girl, but the movie is really about the friendship between them. Over the course of the movie, they get angry at each other and have to deal with separation issues between them, and it's a movie that can really hit close to home for anyone who left or is going to leave close friends behind. It might not be as sentimental as some other stuff these guys have done, but it still rings very true. Superbad is one of the funniest movies this year, and definitely worth seeing.