Penis Whimsy

Bill Gerdes

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Posted October 1, 2007 in Film

In 600 years, the thesaurus will be one page long and devoted to "dick." It won’t need another word. In this balls-out comedy, it reigns supreme as noun, verb, and adjective—a lexicon that would welcome the phrase: "Quit dicking around, you dick-less dick." Seth Rogan and Ali G writer Evan Goldberg’s cocktastical flick is as preoccupied by sex as The Cutting Edge obsesses over ice-skating. Not that high school seniors Evan, Seth, and hanger-on Fogell (Michael Cera, Jonah Hill, and Christopher Mintz-Plasse) are getting any. Evan’s set on Becca (Martha MacIsaac) even though he’s clueless to her advances, Seth would too obviously boink anything without a penis, and Fogell, well—we’re not sure his balls have dropped no matter how much gangsta slang he slangs.

Ironically, though the boys are devoted to their throbbing manhoods, the rest of the school writes them off as pussies. Even Jesse (Scott Gerbacia), a hippie with glasses and a ponytail, spits on them for wanting invites to his graduation party. So Evan, Seth, and Fogell embark on an epic "Vagtastic Voyage"—buying booze for Jules’ (Emma Stone) entire house party, a feat that’s less than guaranteed to get them laid, though it should raise their cool quotient by 5%. They’ve got the caveman provider urge to prove themselves with $200 bucks of Goldslick vodka. Armed with Fogell’s risky fake ID, which claims he’s a 25-year-old Hawaiian with the R&B crooner name McLovin, they set out on an Odyssean quest fraught with peril and littered with stupid brilliant jokes.

Cera, reprising his spacy sincerity from Arrested Development, is also riddled with guilt over ditching his slacker buddy to go to Dartmouth. Worse yet, he’s going to be rooming with Fogell who is living mosquito spray for the honeys. Fogell, a skinny geek with an unfortunate haircut, is even more repellant than Seth, who looks like The Penguin as a horndog teen, and spent his childhood drawing picture after picture of veiny, anthropomorphic penises in watercolor, tempura paint, and pen and ink. Which, awesomely, we get two montages of starring everything from cock cannons and airplanes to phallic Pippi Longstocks and penile protesters facing down tanks in Tiananmen Square.

Superbad is five-star moronic mayhem; it delights in its bullet-point plot (get booze, get chicks) and would rather run in circles cracking jokes than fuss over a story. Once Seth Rogan and Bill Hader swing through as two local cops who get their kicks shotgunning beers, running red lights, and talking like Yoda, all bets are off that the dudes will even remember the party that meant the world to them at lunchtime. And like its extended family of Judd Apatow flicks like 40 Year Old Virgin and Knocked Up, it’s laced with a stealth message about friendship and manhood—specifically, the kind of macho where you’re so determined to bring booze, you pour keg beer into empty bottles of Tide.

Apatow’s homeboys, Superbad director Greg Mottola included, are hellbent on resurrecting 80′s comedy where everybody said and did whatever the hell they wanted ("Hey guys! Let’s have a bikini car wash!") and gave the bird to the moral majority and studio execs pushing for a PG-13 rating. It’s like our entire generation has been freed to watch USA Up All Night united at the multiplex—only unlike Stewardess School, the films are actually funny. 

 


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