September 7, 2007

Superbad: Guys Movie Night

A honest, funny, crude, and realistic depiction of high-school drunken foolishness. Another example of the new comedy process where the director tries out 100 jokes per scene, then edits the movie based on which jokes get the most laughs in preview screenings. This may result in guaranteed quality humor, but the resulting movie sometimes feels rough and choppy. For example, the most famous scene where Fogel shows Seth and Evan his fake "McLovin" ID included plenty of punchlines ("Are you an Irish R&B singer? Are you Seal?") but it never felt like a character actually said two sentences in a row. The chop-chop-chop rhythm eliminates any flow. Seventy years ago, the Marx brothers would try out their routines on the road in front of live audiences, crafting and honing their jokes before they filmed them onscreen. I'm generally pleased with the results of this style of comedy-moviemaking, but it would be refreshing to see a comedy with takes which lasted longer than five seconds. Where's the Ghostbusters when you really need them?

NOTES: Angus, Jeff, Phil, and I saw the movie in the mostly empty Screen 8 three weeks after the movie's debut. A trailer for National Treasure 2: We Remake The Da Vinci Code drew open laughter from the entire audience. The trailer for the Coen brothers new movie, No Country for Old Men, makes the movie look a-w-e-s-o-m-e! (Regal Fenway Stadium 13)