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Laramie Movie Scope:

The 18-year-old virgins

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by Robert Roten, Film Critic
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August 19, 2007 -- “Superbad” is the latest movie from the makers of “The 40-Year-Old-Virgin,” and “Knocked Up.” It is about what you would expect, a sexually-charged comedy about high school seniors hoping to score big at an alcohol-fueled party just before summer starts. It is sort of like “American Graffiti,” but with a lot more talk about sex and a large number of strange penis drawings. Like its predecessors, it has a lot of compassion for its hapless characters and a lot of heart. It is likely the film is a bit autobiographical since Seth Rogan both co-wrote the film and serves as one of the film's main characters, too. Seth Rogan also was a producer of “The 40-Year-Old Virgin” and “Knocked Up” and appeared as an actor in both of those films. Producer Judd Apatow is also associated with all three of these films. His influence is evident throughout.

The story of “Superbad” centers on three high school buddies, overweight Seth (Jonah Hill of “Knocked Up”), nerdy Fogell, and the conflicted Evan (Michael Cera of the “Arrested Development” TV show). All get invited to a party marking the end of the school year and the beginning of summer. Seth agrees to obtain liquor for the party, hosted by Jules (Emma Stone), who Seth has a crush on. Seth thinks the way to Jules' heart is to get her drunk. Evan finds out that Becca (Martha MacIsaac) a girl he likes, is also going to be at the party. It is all up to Fogell, who has recently purchased a very unconvincing fake identification card, to get the liquor and then to somehow get the liquor to the party despite a comedy of errors. Along the way, the three fight, make up and learn a lot about themselves and the girls they desire.

The first part of the film bogs down and is pretty slow going. Once the chase is on for the girls and the liquor, the film gets more interesting. Just when you think that Seth is a totally crass, self-absorbed person with no real regard for his friends, it is revealed that he's really a misunderstood sweetheart. Near the end, it pulls the heartstrings with genuine portrayals of friendship, love, respect and even some dignity. This is a story of outsiders who have their moment in the spotlight. It turns out that the kids are all right after all. Somehow, the unlikely combination of crass comedy and romance really works, just as it did in “The 40-Year-Old Virgin” and “Knocked Up.” Apatow has this formula down pat. His film's make Adam Sandler's similar efforts look shoddy by comparison. This is a gross comedy with heart. This film rates a B.

Click here for links to places to buy or rent this movie in video and/or DVD format, or to buy the soundtrack, posters, books, even used videos, games, electronics and lots of other stuff. I suggest you shop at least two of these places before buying anything. Prices seem to vary continuously. For more information on this film, click on this link to The Internet Movie Database. Type in the name of the movie in the search box and press enter. You will be able to find background information on the film, the actors, and links to much more information.

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Copyright © 2007 Robert Roten. All rights reserved.
Reproduced with the permission of the copyright holder.
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Robert Roten can be reached via e-mail at my last name at lariat dot org. [Mailer button: image of letter and envelope]

(If you e-mail me with a question about this or any other movie or review, please mention the name of the movie you are asking the question about, otherwise I may have no way of knowing which film you are referring to)