SUPERBAD (2007) Greg Mottola.
I’m beginning to think that comedies now only exist to lower our moral standards. I doubt that the agenda imposed on comedies has changed much over the years besides an overall increase in depraved and exceedingly youthful sex, increased vulgarity and a total absence of empathy.
Some will argue that these are the things that make them funny. The problem is that seeing awkward children forced into sexual situations and laughing at the misfortunes of others isn’t just forgotten, it becomes the culture. These comedies don’t just suck, they are a violation of decency in that they are designed to normalize negative behavior and to be emulated. Superbad helped redefine irreverent comedy and within the first minutes, two boys ‘joke’ about having sex with their parents, male and female. Pedophilia is a running joke and simply a laughing matter made all the more disgusting as children are portrayed as being the ones interested in sex with adults.
The hilarity is shoved in our faces as the camera lingers on drawings of ‘man dicks’ in an extended montage of pedophilia grooming. Throughout the film homosexuality is encouraged continuously. Why? Seeing as gays have nothing at all to do with the story, it appears only to exist to drive another nail in the coffin of tradition and to fly a flag of promiscuity, both of which are used in film to destroy the sanctity of the traditional family. As a gay man, I find the exploitation of homosexuality and the overt child grooming extremely offensive.
Normalizing irresponsible, dangerous and illegal behavior is all that Hollywood seems to be able to do well. There’s a bad bit where liquor is siphoned into emptied-out jugs of detergent, leaving me to wonder if this predicted the inane millennial trend of consuming Tide Pods, a practice that erupted five years after the film, starting in 2012. I don’t even care about this behavior that borders on mental retardation, the vulgar language or the underage drinking subplot, but when did pedophilia become a topic to joke about? Even the film’s title subverts the idea, making plain old bad behavior, something retro and cool, something Superbad. Superbarf.
This review first appeared in the print version of Victims of Cinema. The first 50 reviews can be obtained HERE.