Superbad Information

Superbad is a 2007 American comedy film directed by Greg Mottola and starring Jonah Hill and Michael Cera. The film was written by Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg, who began working on the script when they were both thirteen years old; they completed a draft by the time they were fifteen. The film's main characters have the same given names as Rogen and Goldberg. The film was one of a string of hit films produced by Judd Apatow.


Seth (Jonah Hill) and Evan (Michael Cera) are two high school seniors who lament their virginity and poor social standing. Best friends since childhood, the two are about to go off to different colleges, as Seth did not get accepted into Dartmouth. After Seth is paired with Jules (Emma Stone) during Home-Ec class, she invites him to a party at her house later that night. Later, Fogell (Christopher Mintz-Plasse) comes up to the two and reveals his plans to obtain a fake ID during lunch. Seth uses this to his advantage and promises to bring alcohol to Jules' party.

Fogell's fake ID is met with disgust by Seth and Evan, as it states that Fogell's name is simply "McLovin". After contemplating the options, Seth decides they have no choice but to have Fogell buy the alcohol with his fake ID. Fogell goes in and successfully buys the alcohol, but is interrupted when a robber enters the store, punches him in the face, and takes money from the cash register.

When police officers Slater (Bill Hader) and Michaels (Seth Rogen) arrive to investigate the robbery, Seth and Evan (who had been arguing outside) believe that Fogell has been busted for the fake ID. Inside the store, Slater and Michaels are apparently fooled by Fogell's ID and give him a ride to the party. While arguing over what to do, Seth is hit by a car being driven by Francis (Joe Lo Truglio), who promises to take them to a party he is attending in exchange for them not telling the police.

During Fogell's time with the police, they exhibit very irresponsible behavior such as drinking, shooting their firearms at a stop sign, and improper use of their sirens to run red lights. All the while, the three develop a strong friendship. When Seth and Evan arrive at the party, they quickly discover that Francis is not welcome there. Francis is brutally beaten by Mark (Kevin Corrigan), the party host, while Seth fills detergent bottles from the basement with alcohol he finds in the fridge. After running away from the party, which soon devolves into a fistfight, Evan angrily asserts that Seth has been holding him back from all these years and preventing him from becoming socially active.

In the midst of this argument, Seth is hit by the police cruiser when Michaels distracts Slater while he is driving. Afraid of losing their jobs, the cops decide to frame the accident on Seth and Evan and begin to arrest them. While being arrested, Seth and Evan see Fogell coming out of the car and decide to run for it, Fogell and the alcohol in tow.

Arriving at the party, Seth successfully delivers the alcohol while Evan meets up with his crush Becca (Martha MacIsaac). Becca is already drunk and initiates sex with Evan, but Evan not wanting to have sex with Becca drunk, replies with throwing up on Jules' bed. Fogell impresses Nicola (Aviva Farber) with his fake ID and goes upstairs to have sex with her. Seth tries to get with Jules, but learns that she does not want to do anything with him while he is drunk. In the midst of the conversation, Seth passes out, headbutting Jules in the eye.

Slater and Michaels arrive to break up the party, prompting Seth to carry Evan out of the party to save him. Slater goes upstairs to find Fogell having sex with Nicola, scaring away the latter. The two officers sit down with Fogell and reveal that they knew his ID was fake and merely wanted to show him that cops can have a good time. As repayment, the officers pretend to arrest Fogell to boost his popularity. Removing the last piece of evidence of their wildly irresponsible night, the three torch the police cruiser with molotov cocktails while Fogell signs an affidavit saying that the car was stolen by a drug addict.

Seth and Evan go to Evan's house, where the two reconcile and declare their love for one another. Going to the mall the next day, they meet Jules and Becca, who are shopping for cover-up and new comforters respectively. After an awkward exchange, Seth goes to help Jules while Evan helps Becca and the two best friends part ways reluctantly.




The film was written by Goldberg and Rogen during their teen years. It is loosely based on their own experience as seniors in Vancouver in the late 1990s. Hence the character names Seth and Evan. According to an interview at an event panel in 2009 Fogul was also a real friend of Rogen and Goldberg. Seth Rogen was initially slated to play Hill's character Seth, but due to his physical size and age, he played one of the daft police men instead. The film took over seven years to complete from early scripting in 2000 and filming in 2006/2007.

Principal photography

The film was supposed to be taking place in the Clark County, Nevada/Las Vegas, Nevada area, however, the film was primarily shot in the Los Angeles area. The school that the kids attend is actually the exterior of El Segundo High School. The mall scenes were shot at the old Fox Hills Mall (which is now the Westfield Mall) in Culver City, California. Other notable filming locations include the convenience store at the beginning of the movie, also in Culver City, the liquor store where "McLovin" gets IDed in Glendale, California, and the bar where the cops take McLovin for a drink is neighboring Los Angeles International Airport (LAX).


Box office

According to Box Office Mojo, the film opened at number one at the United States box office, grossing $33,052,411 in its opening weekend in 2,948 theaters with an average of $11,212 per theater. The film stayed at #1 the second week, grossing $18,044,369. The film has grossed an estimated $121,463,226 in the United States and Canada, and $48,408,493 in other countries, for a total of $169,871,719 worldwide. Compared to the relatively small budget of $20 million, the film earned a huge financial profit, making it the highest domestic grossing high school comedy at the time. It has since been surpassed by 21 Jump Street, a film Hill also starred in.

Critical response

Superbad received critical praise and was listed as one of the best movies of 2007 by some critics. As of July 19, 2012, the film-critics aggregate site Rotten Tomatoes listed 88% positive reviews, based on 204 reviews (179 "fresh", 25 "rotten"). RT's consensus was that it is "an authentic take on the awkwardness of the high school experience." On Metacritic, the film has a score of 76 based on 36 reviews.

Mick LaSalle of the San Francisco Chronicle called it 2007's most successful comedy. Roger Ebert of the Chicago Sun-Times had the headline of his review read "McLovin It," and gave the film 3 stars (out of 4) and said "The movie reminded me a little of National Lampoon's Animal House, except that it's more mature, as all movies are." Carina Chocano of the Los Angeles Times said "Physically, Hill and Cera recall the classic comic duos — Laurel and Hardy, Abbott and Costello, Aykroyd and Belushi. But they are contemporary kids, sophisticated and sensitive to nuance"; she added, "I hope it's not damning the movie with the wrong kind of praise to say that for a film so deliriously smutty, Superbad is supercute". Sean Burns of Philadelphia Weekly said "2007: the year Judd Apatow and Seth Rogen saved movie comedy", a reference to Knocked Up which was released in June. Devin Gordon of Newsweek said "As a Revenge of the Nerds redux, Superbad isn't perfect. But it's super close."

In a more critical vein, Stephen Farber of The Hollywood Reporter, compared the film to other films with a single-day structure, such as American Graffiti and Dazed and Confused, but said that Superbad "doesn't have the smarts or the depths of those ensemble comedies". The Hollywood Reporter review was referenced in the film's DVD audio commentary, particularly the review's suggestion that the two main characters have a homoerotic experience similar to the film Y Tu Mamá También. Adam Graham of The Detroit News said, "the cops belong in a bad Police Academy sequel, not this movie", and also that the film "falls short of teen-classic status." Roger Moore of the Orlando Sentinel called the film "super-derivative", "super-raunchy", and "Freaks and Geeks: Uncensored". Moore went on to say the film shamelessly plagiarizes from films such as Can't Hardly Wait and American Graffiti. He also said, "Like Knocked Up, this is a comedy they don't know how to end. The energy flags as it overstays its welcome." Wesley Morris of The Boston Globe said the film "has a degree more sophistication than Revenge of the Nerds and American Pie, and less than the underrated House Party". Morris also said, "the few smart observations could have come from an episode of one of Apatow's TV shows" and "I wanted to find this as funny as audiences did".



  • Canadian Comedy Awards 2008 - Seth Rogen - Best Writing. Rogen could not attend the awards ceremony but recorded a special thank you message.
  • Canadian Comedy Awards 2008 - Michael Cera - Best Male Performance
  • Chicago Film Critics Association Awards 2007 - Michael Cera - Most Promising Performer
  • Austin Film Critics Association Awards 2007 - Michael Cera - Breakthrough Artist Award
  • Young Hollywood Awards 2008 - Emma Stone - Exciting New Face


  • 2008 MTV Movie Awards - Best Movie
  • 2008 MTV Movie Awards - Michael Cera, Jonah Hill, Christopher Mintz-Plasse - Breakthrough
  • 2008 Peabody Award - Best New Comedy Performance
  • 2008 MTV Movie Awards - Jonah Hill - Best Comedic Performance
  • Broadcast Film Critics Association Awards 2007 - Best Comedy Movie
  • Broadcast Film Critics Association Awards 2007 - Michael Cera - Best Young Actor
  • Empire Awards 2007 - Best Comedy
  • Teen Choice Awards 2007 - Choice Summer Movie - Comedy/Musical


Two tie-in books to the film were published by Newmarket Press:

Superbad: The Illustrated Moviebook was published on December 4, 2007 to coincide with the release of the film on DVD. This official companion book includes: an introduction by producer Judd Apatow; the complete script by Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg; commentaries by Apatow, Rogen and Goldberg, and journalists from Rolling Stone, The New York Times, and Entertainment Weekly; 56 film stills; "Mr. Vagtastic Guide to Buying Porn;" and 24 "phallographic" drawings by David Goldberg that viewers will recognize from the film's end credits.

Superbad: The Drawings was published on February 14, 2008. This gift hardcover art book contains 82 "phallographic" drawings created by David Goldberg (Evan Goldberg's brother) for the film.


See Superbad (soundtrack) for more information

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