Just at the CalExpo yesterday, along with Governor Arnie the Barbarian, and I must say that watching a Holstein give birth was far more edifying than a lot of the movies I've seen this summer. One of the exhibits in the home-arts pavilions was a high school electronic class's exercise of retro-engineering an air-conditioner: tearing it apart and showing all the component on a blueprint.
If some of the correspondents I know had seen this, they'd ask "Why do those students hate air conditioners so much? Why couldn't they just let it alone and enjoy it?" That's the point that movie fans sometimes miss about critics: that a really good movie will only be more interesting after it gets pulled apart a little. The best pulling-apart I've seen on Superbad is at Flick Filosopher, mostly because it's a group effort.
Critic MaryAnn Johanson got to host a passel of furious fans after she wrote that she hated it. After her pan, she made the point that Superbad suggests that "the mysteries [of sex] have yet to be solved, or even broached, by anyone involved in making this movie, and must be unbroached by the audience, as well, for maximum enjoyment." In her opinion, then, Rogan, Apatow and the gang failed to pull that matter of male-female attraction apart in the movie, and just stuck with the bad behavior on the surface.
The regular readers of this critic, who is self-described as a Gen-X female New Yorker, were suddenly joined by everyone drawn in from the link in Rotten Tomatoes. There, Johanson's review had been boiled down to a lone quote, to wit: Superbad was proof Hollywood sucked. Well, the film's many defenders came out with every ad-hominem (or I guess ad-wominem) thing they could think of typing. And the back and forth about the film -- whether it was misogynistic, implicitly pro-female or whatever, turned into a much more interesting discussion of the movie than I've seen anywhere. Except, maybe, Richard Corliss's essay about the "bromance" movie of 2007. Perhaps the best comment in this long list of insults, observations and threats, is the putdown of Johanson by someone billed as "mysogynisticSUPERBADfan': "Your opinion means nothing. You write for an internet site." And then he posted it to an internet site ...