Starring Jonah Hill and Michael Cera. Rated 18A.

Viewers prepared for a buttload of profanity and MILF jokes will discover a surprisingly tender heart in Superbad. This American Graffiti with semen stains was scripted by Knocked Up star Seth Rogen and Arrested Development writer Evan Goldberg, directed by Greg Mottola (The Daytrippers), and produced by Judd Apatow, the one-man Farrelly brothers of this decade.

The sibling connotation isn't far off, as Accepted's Jonah Hill and Arrested's Michael Cera (of Brampton, Ontario) play lifelong best friends for some reason called Seth and Evan, respectively who have just arrived at that universally known crossroads called high-school graduation. The tale, which takes place in a 24-hour period, centres on the notion that semi-nerdy Evan has been accepted to Princeton while his size-large, foul-mouthed buddy didn't make the cut, upsetting their long-standing plans to room together at college.

Instead, Evan will be dorming up with geeky third wheel Fogell (Christopher Mintz-Plasse, because every generation gets the Charles Martin Smith it deserves). When the lads get unexpectedly invited to a cool-kids party, they want to ditch Fogell until his new fake ID arrives. But how much booze can you buy with a driver's licence for a 25-year-old Hawaiian called McLovin?

The ID thing is only one problem as our horny heroes descend into the teen version of After Hours (with a hint of Y Tu Mamá También), largely at the hands of two roguish cops, played by Rogen and SNL's weird Bill Hader. (I'm trying hard not be a Hader-hater.)

These segments shade into surrealism, but the heart of Superbad ;which connects its title with some great '70s funk has more to do with the pair's budding affections for two girls seemingly out of their league: for Evan, the sassy Becca (PEI born Martha MacIsaac), and for Seth, the ultra-cool Jules (Emma Stone). Still more crucial, as summed up in the flick's poignant final image, is the often unspoken bond of male friendship. One day, it's the most important thing in the world. The next well, that's life, isn't it?