Archive for the Ahead of the Pack Category

Ahead of the Pack #1

Posted in Ahead of the Pack with tags , , , , , , , on July 22, 2008 by themoviecult

Superbad follows three friends over the course of one day at high school. They are invited to a small party by some ladies, and offer to get them some booze with a fake id. Things don’t go to plan, and they end up on a crazy adventure into the night – evading policemen, and trying to find alcohol.

Ask some of your friends whether they like Superbad. If they say no, chances are that they didn’t drink in high school. They can’t relate to the movie because they can’t understand the characters and the situations – they’ve never been scared shitless and underage in a liquor store, and they’ve never gone for one of those long, adventurous drunken walks. Superbad is a memory, a kickback to your high school days, when you were less mature, and your priorities were different. If you liked Superbad, it is probably because the main characters in the movie are similar to your high school friends, or at least people you knew around the schoolyard. Same interests, same sense of humour, same preoccupations.

There’s no relating to the main characters in many other teen movies. They’re mostly unrealistic and take themselves far too seriously. Many teen movies define the characters as nerds, or jocks, and leave no area for complexity and evolution.

The high school experience that the films portray is also wildly different from the typical high school experience. Aspects are warped and exaggerated to make the films more appealing, or to allow the themes to fit in. Most teen movie screenwriters also don’t seem to understand that love and the daily routine of life during teenage translate to trivial, boring films. Portrayal of teen angst is annoying, yet it seems to be the cornerstone of the genre. The screenwriters have tried to find a unique vantage point for teen movies, but have failed miserably.

Of course, this is generalisation. Some teen movies are heavy in one of the err departments, and light in others. At any rate, in terms of characters, realism, and humour, Superbad is superb, much better than the rest of the market.