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The Daily Utah Chronicle

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McLovin Rising

By Aaron Zundel

OK, so the plot is simple:

Seth (Jonah Hill) and Evan (Michael Cera) spend their last night as “high school people” on a quest for booze, social recognition and, of course, sex.

Chaos ensues.

Wait a minute-horny teenagers trying to get laid before they graduate? Haven’t we seen this before?

The answer is no.

Super raunchy, super funky and super hilarious, “Superbad,” the new film from comedy duo Judd Apatow and Seth Rogen, lives up to its title in a number of ways, taking the high school comedy to disgustingly new, and heartfelt, levels.

Without pretense or apology, “Superbad” quickly draws us into the world of today’s modern male teenager. These kids are crass, self-conscious and hypersexualized.

“Don’t make me feel like a weirdo for liking porn,” says Seth. “You’re the weirdo for not liking it.”

“I just want a little production value for my money, that’s all,” Evan replies.

Indeed, the two are so much like everyday virginal nerds that they don’t even aspire to sleep with the hottest girls in school. Instead they scheme, with untold amounts of profanity, to become the quintessential “mistake” every girl seems to make after a few too many shots of Jagermeister.

Despite their love of the ladies (or at least their idea of ladies), Seth and Evan face much bigger challenges than “scoring.” The two are more codependent than milk and cookies, and with the two set to attend different colleges after graduation, they have to come to terms with their own relationship before they can start new relationships with other (female) individuals.

But hey, luck is on their side. Ten minutes into the film the opportunity for some easy love presents itself in the form of another one of those all-too-convenient-as-a-plot-device high school keggers. And naturally, there’s a catch-Evan and Seth need to bring the booze if they are to score.

Cue Fogel.

Played unforgettably by newcomer Christopher Mintz-Plasse, Fogel’s such a squeaky-voiced dweeb that even Seth and Evan-shameless nerds themselves-are reluctant to hang out with him (Fogel’s best pass at the ladies is telling them what time it is). Fogel does, however, have in his possesion the holy grail of high school existence: the fake I.D.-complete with the obviously fake, yet funkalicious, name “McLovin.” (“McLovin?!?” Seth screams in exasperation. “It was either that or Mohammed,” Fogel retorts. “Mohammed!? Why couldn’t you pick a common name?!” “Mohammed’s the most common name on the planet! Read a f****** book, Seth!”)

Despite his beginner status, Mintz-Plasse’s screen presence is extraordinary.

“I am McLovin,” he declares, brandishing his new I.D., in a statement so memorable that it launches what’s destined to become the trendiest catch-phrase since Dave Chapelle bellowed “I’m Rick James, bitch!”

Along with Fogel (nay, McLovin), Seth and Evan set out to get the booze. Unfortunately for the trio, everything goes to hell when, mid-transaction, Fogel’s face makes acquaintance with the iron fist of a liquor-store bandit.

The cops (played by Seth Rogan and Bill Hader) arrive. Seth and Evan split, leaving Fogel while they look for other avenues to score their much needed alcohol.

From here, “Superbad” descends into outrageous situation comedy with each scene more unlikely than the last. Fogel winds up spending the evening with the loveable-though thoroughly irresponsible-cops, drinking beer, running red lights and shooting at stop signs for target practice.

While Fogel’s adventures wind up being funnier than anything Seth and Evan encounter for the rest of the film, it’s the relationship between Seth and Evan that really takes “Superbad” to a place comedies (especially teen comedies) rarely aspire to reach or achieve.

Screenwriters Seth Rogan and Even Goldberg, despite loading their screenplay with enough foul language to make a Marine blush (I was ashamed to admit to my mother I saw this movie), also make a point to load “Superbad” with heart and, yes, even a little maturity.

Whether it’s Evan refusing to take advantage of Becca (played by Martha MacIsaac)-the absolutely smashed, and quite willing, girl of his dreams-or Seth heroically scooping a very drunk and very unconscious Evan off the couch as the cops break up the party, or the duo cuddled together in sleeping bags, professing how much they really care for each other, the film wants us to know that, while bawdiness is all in good fun, some things in life really are important.

Oh, and Fogel can take a punch like a champ.

“Superbad” wants us to know that, too.

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