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Geeking Back: Superbad (2007)

by Dave Elliott



Looking back at Superbad

If you had make a list of  the best geeks in geek movies, you’d have to think Superbad and, of course, the characters Seth, Evan and Fogell (a.k.a “McLovin”) would be up there. The three geeky high-school leavers were so ably played, respectively, by Jonah Hill, Michael Cera and Christopher Mintz-Plasse – and each of the three has justifiably won plaudits both for this work and subsequent geek acting in movies such as Kick-Ass and Scott Pilgrim vs. the World. However Superbad was really the film that put them on the geek map.

Superbad follows the 3 teens in their final days at school as they try to score booze after lucking into an invite to a party, thrown by a girl Seth likes. Their hope is that, in getting the booze, it’ll impress the ladies, and help them get some lady lovin’ before heading to college.

Written by Seth Rogen & Evan Goldberg, and based on their own high school experiences, it’s amazing to think the first draft was actually scripted whilst they were both still in high school! Although some of the humour may seem rather ‘base’, you can tell it’s written with a knowingness and a wink, and delivered brilliantly. Especially by Cera, who has continued to show such a superb comic timing (see Arrested Development) since Superbad. Rogen & Goldberg manage to craft one moment in time for the characters, and for the actors playing them, that really captures the geek spirit of the age in a way that no other movie seems to quite pull off (though Napoleon Dynamite comes very close indeed).

The movie was nominated for all sorts of awards, but still didn’t quite get the recognition it truly deserved at the time it was made, and perhaps that’s because it’s just one of those movies that keeps getting better every time you see it. And each time you watch it again, you spot a little extra something that has you squirming – probably in recognition of a little tiny part of yourself from the same age, which is the film’s true genius.

This is far more than a coming of age movie – it’s too subtle for words in a way that is, well, completely un-subtle. It’s also hilariously funny, of course, so in the unlikely event that you haven’t actually seen it for any reason – do yourself a favour and watch it at once – or at least watch the trailer above or on YouTube.

A few geeky facts for you about Superbad:

Christopher Mintz-Plasse was just 17 at the time of filming… so that meant, when he had to film a sex scene… I mean… as if being 17 and having people watch you pretend to have sex wouldn’t be stressful enough, your Mum has to watch!

Whilst ‘McLovin’ is trying to get booze amongst the customers buying tickets with their fingers crossed for the results of America’s favourite lotto,with his fake ID, one of the cops that come to investigate is played by writer Seth Rogen (Officer Michaels).

Seth’s dad Mark also got in on the act, and played a bat wielding homeowner that takes a swing at the kids as they run through some gardens to escape the cops.

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