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From the guy who brought you Knocked Up and The 40-Year-Old Virgin comes Superbad. Seth Jonah Hill and Evan Michael Cera want nothing more than to lose their virginity before they head off to college. To do that, though, they need to get liquor for the big party that night. With the help of their friend Fogell, a.k.a. McLovin Christopher Mintz-Plasse, and his fake I.D., the three of them go on a hilarious chase for that elusive booze, dodging incompetent cops Knocked Up's Seth Rogen and "Saturday Night Live's" Bill Hader, angry neighbors and jealous boyfriends.
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