A couple weeks ago my three-year-old son came down with a cold. Pretty standard stuff runny nose, sneezing, loss of appetite, cantankerous attitude so my wife and I attended to his needs, making sure he was as comfortable as possible. At one point he wandered up to me in a semi-daze with arms outstretched and said, Daddy, hold me. It was one of those moments every parent dreams about. My child, feeling physically drained, wanted to be in the one place that offered total and complete comfort: my arms.
As I basked in the beauty of the moment, offering soothing words of encouragement, he slowly lifted his head from my shoulder, looked deep into my eyes, and without warning, sneezed directly into my face. All parents know that bodily fluids come with the territory when raising children, but the unannounced sneeze is potentially the most damaging.
This tiny moment between father and son could have been filmed for a Discover Channel feature on infectious diseases. It took less than 24-hours from the time of the ill-fated sneeze until I noticed the first symptoms that something foreign was attacking my system.
Initially I felt a little tickle in my nose, which was followed by a bevy of eruptive sneezes. After five or six minutes my nasal passages began to fill with mucus, requiring me to have a box of tissues within arms reach. After retiring for the night, I was awoken at some ungodly hour with a piercing sore throat and knees that felt as though they had been attacked by a baseball bat. By morning I could barely sit upright due to the pounding headache that was ravaging my skull. I was officially sick big time.
Now, Im a healthy 40-year-old man whos in fairly good shape, but the disease that my son passed to me rendered my body completely useless, literally bedridden for a week. Each morning upon awakening I would immediately analyze my symptoms in an attempt at gauging my recovery. While my sons body seemed to overwhelm the disease in a couple days, my body decided to hang out with the foreign invader for an extended period party if you will.
Like all stubborn middle-aged men, I avoiding going to the doctor because I knew I could beat this thing on my own (insert laugh track here). I inhaled obscene amounts of vitamins, took a steam bath, slept for hours on end, drank herbal tea you name it, I did it. But nothing seemed to work.
And then I decided to go see this weeks feature, Superbad. I was still feeling drained but I knew I couldnt shirk the responsibility of my column. Oddly, I wasnt more than ten minutes into this film when I suddenly started to feel good. I realized that I hadnt had a really good belly laugh since Id become sick. By the time the picture ended, I felt like a new man. Im not saying this film is so funny it will cure all sickness, but it was funny enough to brighten up my mood (maybe laughter really is the best medicine).
Set just weeks before high school graduation, Superbad follows the travails of three dorky young men who suddenly have an opportunity to get with the in-crowd. All they have to do is buy liquor for an upcoming party. Once they succeed, theyre certain beautiful women will fall all over them.
Superbad is the Fast Times at Ridgemont High for todays high schoolers. Its full of harsh language, hip music, and geeky guys trying to work the angles on beautiful women. If youve seen one of these films, youve basically seen them all. The only thing that differentiates one film from another are the actors who star in them and that is where Superbad found its greatest strength. The three leading men in this picture, each with their own unique geek mystique, made this movie worth seeing. Take them away and youve got nothing more than another third-rate T&A film.
Like all high school comedies, the older you are the less likely you will be to find worth in Superbad. Theres a bevy of comedic situations to laugh at, but much of it is age appropriate. Give this one a shot if youre young or young at heart, otherwise you may just feel out of place. A geekish B for Superbad.