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Wanna feel old? There are some recent-feeling cultural milestones that are turning 10 years old this year. The corny-yet-epic action film 300, filled with slow-motion murders and vaguely homoerotic undertones. The Soulja Boy dance, which dominated middle school get-togethers and singlehandedly destroyed Western civilization. Britney Spears’ public meltdown when she shaved her head and looked like E.T. right before Kevin Federline finally disappeared into thin air and you forgot he existed until reading that sentence.
But one piece of entertainment that turns double digits this year that makes me feel REALLY old is Superbad.
One of America’s most treasured institutions is the teen sex comedy. Movies of biblical significance. Films that follow the relatable trials and tribulations of disgusting teens on a nonstop quest to get laid with Olympian-level perseverance. They’re a tradition as American as apple pie or hating Limp Bizkit, and Superbad transcends the teen sex comedy into art. It’s the best film we’ll ever see in this crude yet sacred sub-genre.
Very few movies bring me back to my childhood more than Superbad. It’s a movie that defined my teenage years, with me and my friends quoting it religiously in middle school. I still remember sitting in a packed theater seeing it with my dad on my 13th birthday, laughing until my stomach was in knots. Then I found a bootleg version and rewatched it with my friends what felt like quadrillions of times. Don’t tell the police; I already got one strike for illegally downloading the latest Jay Z album, a crime punishable by castration in some states.
Seth Rogen and his buddy Evan Goldberg first developed the idea for Superbad when they were just 15 years old, which should make even the most confident people hate themselves. Seth was actually supposed to play Jonah Hill’s role, but he ended up giving it to Jonah since he actually looked like a high schooler whereas Seth Rogen has looked 42 years old since he was 12.
Superbad solidified Seth Rogen’s presence as one of comedy’s biggest voices of the next decade. It launched the career of Jonah Hill, who went on to score Oscar nods in years to come. It officially broke Michael Cera, a legend of social awkwardness for a generation, out of his Arrested Development shell. It helped make Emma Stone the celebrity crush of absolutely everyone (including straight women). On top of all that, it’s still just as hilarious as it was on day one.
But what makes Superbad such a classic is something that’s underneath all the period blood-stained jeans and fake IDs. It has heart. It’s about more than just a couple of guys trying to get laid. It’s about growing up. It’s about friendship. It’s about all the scary changes that come with slowly becoming an adult. It’s like Stand by Me but with less dead bodies and more dick jokes.
It’s one of the best comedies ever to hit a screen, and I’m gonna bellyflop into a volcano when they inevitably remake it in a few decades..
Image via Shutterstock