Seth Rogen Said ‘Superbad’ Was Last Great High School Movie And Now He’s Paying For It
The actor now says his comments were intended as “a joke.”
Earlier this month, Seth Rogen drew online backlash after making a few comments on the 2007 teen comedy — Superbad — that definitely deserved some side-eye.
Rogen — who starred in and wrote the screenplay for Superbad with creative partner Evan Goldberg — said he had noticed a recent resurgence of interest in the early ‘00s film.
He noted that his Fabelmans co-star, Gabriel LaBelle, had told Rogen that Superbad was his and his friends’ favorite movie.
“What’s crazy is that Gabe LaBelle is like, 19 years old and his and his friends’ favorite movie is ‘Superbad,’” Rogen told People. “So it never changed for some reason. No one’s made a good high school movie since then.”
That last tidbit is what really had the internet rolling their eyes.
Many on social media pointed out that since the release of Superbad, several films about teenagers coming of age in high school had been well-received by fans and critics alike.
Then everal people began to list teen films that came out after Superbad that were just as, if not better, than the teen buddy comedy. And it took a while, because, well, there’s a lot.
Several mentioned the 2010’s teen comedy Easy A starring Emma Stone (who actually made her acting debut in Superbad), which put a modern spin on the story of The Scarlet Letter. Others gave a shout out to 2019’s Booksmart, which interestingly enough starred Jonah Hill’s sister, Beanie Feldstein, and The Edge of Seventeen which got lead actress Hailee Steinfeld nominated for Best Actress Golden Globe award.
And note: Booksmart and The Edge of Seventeen have better Rotten Tomatoes scores than Superbad. Just saying.
Directed by Greg Mottola, the comedy starred Michael Cera and Jonah Hill as teenage friends who make a pact to lose their virginities before graduation. High jinks ensue from there.
Shortly after its premiere in theaters, the feature film received positive reviews from critics, and garnered a box office total of $170.8 million on a budget of around $17-$20 million.
I think most would generally agree that, yes, Superbad was a moment in pop culture. I think my friends and I quoted the film for about five years straight.
Unlike the Fast Times and American Pie-like films that preceded Superbad, the film — produced by now-well known comedian Judd Apatow — took a different, more messy and realistic approach to the complicated world of high school and sexual awakenings.
After the internet went after Rogen for his off-the-cuff claim, he cleared things up, admitting that the comment about Superbad was all in jest.
He backtracked on the remarks and listed several films that he had enjoyed in the past 15 years — including a few he worked on — of course.
“That was a joke. There’s a lot. I’ve personally made a few,” he said to People during an appearance at Hilarity for Charity’s third annual CareCon last week, alluding to 2018’s Blockers and 2019’s Good Boys. “Obviously there have been many.”
Maybe Rogen meant to say that Superbad was the last great movie he was a part of?
According to the publication, Rogen and his wife, Lauren Miller Rogen, went on to echo the public’s opinion that Easy A is a great film. The couple also mentioned the 2017 coming of age film, Lady Bird.
Many other high school movies have tackled much heavier, real life topics that high school kids are actually grappling with like the 2018 drama — The Hate U Give — which focuses on racism and police brutality.
Bo Burnham's Golden Globe nominated film — Eighth Grade — highlights the social anxiety and pressures that come with growing up in a raw, but light-hearted way.
Maybe Superbad is the best in its class for what it is — a silly, heavy on the physical comedy, outrageous teen film. However, to name it the last great teen comedy is a bit of a stretch whether Rogen was joking or not. Sometimes it’s hard to remember that great high school movies continue getting made even when you get old and they don’t quite hold the magic for you any longer.