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August 16, 2007 By:
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Seth (Jonah Hill) and Evan (Michael Cera) in "Superbad"
"Superbad" is as good as it gets for those who look in the mirror and see Snow White looking back when wishing for the Wicked Witch.

Of course, that's way better than reflecting on acne, which can be the acme of angst for any teen male wearing out the groove in Madonna's "Like a Virgin," looking for life lessons.

After all, as any kid can tell you of his senior moment at the prom, it's the thrill of sticking the corsage on his date's strapless gown that may be the closest he ever gets to the nirvana promised by Nirvana.

Boys will be boys? Hell, they can be little leering lechers, with nothing on their mind more than nothing on the bodies of their lithe and lovely dates.

Opening this Friday, "Superbad" supersizes the notion that the biggest Geek fraternity out there is Sigma Alpha Horny, in which hazing is more a description of young males' state-of-arousal than a ritual of initiation.

"Superbad" is raucous, raunchy -- and riotously funny in a way that Oscar Wilde would probably not admire. But then boys gone wild was up his alley, too.

No knock on "Knocked Up" writer/director Judd Apatow -- whose role is as producer here -- but he is apt to applaud any project that has its stars trying to become members of the Democratic, Republican ... hell, any party will do as long as the beer is flowing and service is to go (or is that to-ga?)

Indeed, in a way, "Superbad" is "Animal House" for the uninitiated, a home-away-from home for hormones unharnessed.

Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg get the picture. The duo, whose first screenplay this is, written at Bar Mitzvah-age long before going on to script episodes of the scatologically sacrosanct Sacha Baron Cohen "Da Ali G Show" -- showing off their talent for outrageous outa-here humor -- are never far from a movie-goer's memory since the two lead "Superbad" studs are called Seth and Evan.

Even with their more recent successes -- they both exec produced "Knocked Up," with Rogen also co-producer of Apatow's "The 40-Year-Old Virgin" and a "Superbad" co-star -- it's obvious that these "Superbad" boys/men have never left behind the thrill of hiding the Playboy under the mattress, even as they played hide-and-seek with little Lulu next door.

Not left behind either are Jonah Hill, Michael Cera and Christopher Mintz-Plasse as the plastered trio of chumps -- Seth, Evan and the fogged-up Fogell -- who face high school graduation and their upcoming college daze as the worthy fears they really are.

The three threats to Jewish mothers everywhere brought their bust-out bravura to Dave and Buster's on the Delaware recently, where the games people play are of a kids' variety.

Hill is the mountain man of the trio, a chubby trip of an actor with a lean mean talent that's on screen, too, in "Knocked Up" and "Evan Almighty" all summer long. He and Mintz-Plasse -- making an impressive screen debut -- have minted a new Jewish bad-boy image and badinage for the screen: "We're bringing Judaism back to the cool," he kibitzes.

Rachmones of the nerds? Dayenu, dude, adds his co-star.

"We are the counter nerds," claims Mintz-Plasse, a newly minted high school grad whose Fogell resembles more a counter clerk than leather-clad combustible love machine. Ask Fogell if he's ever done weed, and he'll probably go on and on about that hot summer job he had mowing lawns.

Cop a feel? Fogell's more apt to cop a felon as he unwittingly joins the police on a night to remember that is more "Titanic" than "Top Gun."

He's a phone-it-in Fonz. But not even with all the free minutes in the world would the Fonz count Fogell in his Fave Five.

But Judd Apatow? Hill would have moved mountains to meet him, which he eventually did after "stalking" Apatow as the now 23-year-old landed a role in the director's "The 40-Year-Old Virgin."

Now, he's back on laughtrack with "Superbad."

"The funniest script I ever read," says Hill of "Superbad," and its Seth sugar substitute, albeit he doesn't buy the notion he's just playing Rogen's real-life rogue character on screen. "No way am I playing [Rogen]," he says of the man who co-wrote the script. "It's an original character."

And so is Hill, whose high school hi-jinks are Hogwarts magic in their own hilarious way, bringing in big bucks and big laughs on a big broom that promises to sweep the box office this weekend.

But, alas, graduation day is upon him, says the star of "Accepted," accepting the inevitable. "I won't be doing another high school picture."

Classic Character
Not that being a virginal valedictorian invalidates his claims to fame; indeed, Hill's proud of his priapic principal role. Seth may not be a class act, but maybe a classic.

"We were going for 'American Graffiti' and 'Fast Times at Ridgemont High,' " he says of all involved trying to put a stamp on the summer by pushing the envelope in "Superbad" in a super good way.

"The nicest thing anyone could say to me is what my Mom said. She said, 'When I saw you on screen, I saw a real person.' "

Can he hear her now? Perfect timing: His cell rings, providing the ultimate singular sensation; "It's my Mom," he says, excusing himself.

The movie's Seth makes no excuses for himself; not scoring at a late-hours party is a nocturnal omission he is scared to commit.

But then trouble tracks his character like a shaky shadow sharing the spotlight in a tight spot.

"I've always been a troublemaker," says Hill, "but not intentionally. I would never do anything to hurt anybody."

There's no herd mentality either; in a Hollywood where kids openly rebel against their folks, this Hollywood Hill openly adores them. "My parents put up with a lot and I love them for everything they've done for me," says a truly nice Jewish guy.

Popping the paparazzi's bubble? Nice kids finish laugh: Hill harks to the masters of comedy as his favorites.

But "make-'em-laugh" Martin Scorcese? Some of his movies, claims Hill, have terrific hilarious moments.

And Hill -- not hit-man Henry Hill -- provides one of his own here. While he's wary of doing the high school scene all over again, having mentioned he'll be eschewing such roles in the future, Hill considers himself prom king of the screen these days.

Who's going to one-up or wup him? Zac Efron?

Ha, he kids ("I don't know who he is") of the "High School Musical 2" star in a manner more Seth than saint: "Obviously," he says with a mock macho menace of a grin, "I'd beat the sh-- out of him." 

 

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