A little more than ten years since its release, this coming-of-age comedy has already become a bona-fide cult classic not unlike 1993’s “Dazed and Confused” or 1986’s “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off.” Lead by an awkward Michael Cera and a shrill-but-likable-enough Jonah Hill, the movie follows the two longtime friends around for one day as they attempt to get alcohol to bring to a high school party. It’s a barebones structure but it’s exactly that freewheeling energy that gives the movie its spark, not to mention the well-drawn characters we meet along the way. Thanks to a charismatic ensemble cast, director Greg Mottola manages to weave a compelling, engaging narrative that covers everything from the trivial insecurities of adolescence, the terror of encroaching adulthood, and the alternating fascination and fear of real sexuality (instead of the glorified, undeniably misogynistic view perpetuated by pornography aimed at heterosexual men). Hill’s potty mouth could turn even a free-speech advocate’s hair green throughout the movie, but part of the movie’s charm is its willingness to break social conventions to elicit jarring-but-harmless laughs out of uncomfortable situations.
Rating: ★★★★ (out of 5)