Tuesday, September 9, 2008


I had originally planned to see this movie at the theater, but missed it. I had the pleasure of getting to view it in the comfort of my own home, where the laugh factor was high and the embarrassment factor was low. I would have been extremely uncomfortable watching this movie in mixed company. Additionally, I'm glad my nine-year-old son wasn't around when I watched this one. He would have laughed a lot, but I wouldn't have been comfortable with the extremity of the crude jokes and visual gags.

Coming-of-age movies are more about the antics and gags than they are about the plot (at least for me). The idea it to milk as much comedy as you can out of a very simple idea. In this case, two high school Seniors want to gain experience in the dating department before going off to college. Okay...that's a euphemism...the boys spend this entire movie trying to get laid. They have a theory that getting a girl drunk at a party will lead them down that path. What ensues is a series of improbable events that create both great comedy sketches as well as being less than predictable. I think that the lack of predictability in such a simple plot was one of the things that I enjoyed about this movie.

The sketches were sometimes a bit over the top at times, using vulgarity for no apparent reason. When I saw the opening scene, where Seth (Jonah Hill) calls his buddy Evan (Michael Cera) on the way to pick him up from school. During this conversation they discuss which sex sites Seth intends to subscribe to next year, and what freebie subscriptions come with his choice. The entire conversation was unfunny and simply graphic. As the movie evolves, the dialogue gets much funnier as the situations add to the inanity. Hill and Cera have great chemistry and play the part of nerdy guys trying to get laid to a tee. However, I thought they were upstaged by Christopher Mintz-Plasse who looks like the human incarnation of Milhouse from the Simpsons cartoon. Mintz-Plasse plays their friend Fogell who is responsible for getting the booze for their party later in the evening. Fogell has a fake ID from Hawaii with only a last name on it. The dialogue around the identification and the other situations and miscommunications that arise out of the pursuit of booze end up telling most of the story. The tale twists and turns, never going the direction you expect it to go. The resulting humor had me laughing so hard I almost cried.

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