Striking a balance between raunch and sweetness is a tall order for any film, but the Judd Apatow-produced Superbad manages to serve up both in equal and satisfying portions without undercutting a consistent stream of laugh-out-loud performances and gags. Michael Cera (the sublime George Michael Bluth from Arrested Development) and unstoppable scene-stealer Jonah Hill (Apatow's Knocked Up) are lifelong pals who attempt to make up for years of obscurity by getting into one blowout party before parting ways for college; an opportunity presents itself in the form of Hill's crush, the lovely Jules (Emma Stone), who wants the boys to bring liquor to her shindig. What follows is a combination road adventure and coming of age story as Cera and Hill tackle crazed partygoers, a pair of overeager cops (played by co-scripter and producer Seth Rogen and Saturday Night Live 's Bill Hader), and the hard truth about girls and their own emotional bond. The humor is crass and occasionally gross but never mean-spirited, and Cera and Hill offer believable performances as guys wholly unaware of their own potential, yet ready to risk humiliation in order to find out. They're well supported by a cast of Apatow regulars, including Kevin Corrigan, Martin Starr, David Krumholtz, and Carla Gallo (and Stone and Martha MacIsaac are terrific as their love interests), but the film is completely shoplifted by newcomer Christopher Mintz-Plasse as their uber-nerdy pal Fogell, whose fake ID handle is among the movie's funniest gags. Classic funk fans should also keep an ear out for the score by Lyle Workman, which features such James Brown and P-Funk veterans as Bootsy Collins, Bernie Worrell, and Clyde Stubblefield. --Paul Gaita
Stills from Superbad
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After facing the fact that they will be going to different colleges next year, best friends Seth (Jonah Hill) and Evan (Michael Cera) feel they must first complete the right-of-passage of going to a high school party and losing their virginity with the girls of their dreams. However, with their less-than-stellar track record in the ladies department, the two determine that they'll have to get the girls drunk to accomplish this feat. So they enlist their awkward friend Fogell to get a fake ID, which he obtains under the name McLovin. Will they get the booze to entice the girls and fulfill their plans, or will they arrive at college with dashed dreams? Either way, they have a night they will remember for the rest of their lives.
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