Director: Nicholas Stoller
Writers: Andrew J. Cohen, Brendan O'Brien
Cast: Seth Rogen, Zac Efron, Rose Byrne, Elise Vargas, Zoey Vargas, Brian Huskey, Ike Barinholtz, Carla Gallo, Dave Franco, Halston Sage, Christopher Mintz-Plasse, Jerrod Carmichael, Craig Roberts, Ali Cobrin, Kira Sternbach
Synopsis: A couple with a newborn baby face unexpected difficulties after they are forced to live next to a fraternity house.
MPAA Rating: Rated R for pervasive language, strong crude and sexual content, graphic nudity, and drug use throughout
9.4 / 10
- Jokes were well written
- Comedic performances were great
- Zac Efron's comedic timing was excellent.
- Seth Rogen and Rose Byrne's chemistry together was excellent
- Story is surprisingly deeper than expected
- Interesting characters
- Contains a few pointless scenes that add nothing to the overall movie itself
Family vs. Frat
On the surface, "Neighbors" may look like another generic "d**k joke" film that makes various references to homosexuality and male genitalia, while adding in drug references here and there. However, it's surprisingly a lot deeper than the trailers give it any credit for.
The film essentially focuses on a young couple raising their baby girl, in a nice suburban neighborhood. At first, things seem to be quiet and dainty. Sadly, they miss the good old day when life was simpler. Before their baby was born, they were free to go to parties, and do all sorts of crazy things together like going to clubs and smoking weed. Now, they're downtrodden by the wave of responsibility, as they find themselves yearning for the good old days of their youths.
One day, a frat house moves in next door to them. Scared at first that their home would be bombarded with loud music disturbing their baby at night, so they venture to talk to the leader of the fraternity about the situation. Enter Teddy Sanders (Zac Efron). Teddy is essentially your stereotypical college party animal. He cares little for his studies, as his main goal is to party hard enough to make it onto his fraternity's wall of fame. He takes such pride in it too, as he can even recite the history of his fraternity inventing drinking games like beer pong and etc, to his fraternity brothers. Yet, if you were ask him what his plans were after graduation, then he's a bit dumbfounded to reply.
Although Teddy comes off as a confident young man. The reality is he's a bit insecure, and very naive about his own future. And when s**t hits the fan, he sees the Radner couple (Seth Rogen and Rose Byrne) as a reminder about what his own future, which bothers him. Same can be said of Seth and Rose's characters as well. In a strange way, it feels like both of them are fixated on each other because they both represent a part of themselves that they resent.
Teddy represents youth, which Mac (Seth Rogen) and Kelly (Rose Byrne) miss so much. Therefore, when s**t hits the fan, it feels like the Radner couple go to great lengths to get at them if only to feel young again. Sure, this leads to all sorts of comical hijinks that's both hilarious and surprisingly clever. However, the real jewel of this film comes from the comedic performances of it's actors.
To be completely honest, I was unfamiliar with most of Zac Efron's work coming into this film, but I have to admit his comedic timing was impressive. Although he comes off as a bit of a jerk throughout most of this movie, he still manages to come off as a likable jerk that can't bring yourself to ever want to hate. Seth Rogen is in perfect comedic form as always, and Rose Byrne's sly wit acts as a perfect counterbalance to Rogen's style of acting.
I especially enjoyed the Lisa Kudrow's scene with the Radner couple, as she plays the snarky Dean like nobodies business. The jokes surprisingly well written for a d*** joke movie, and it's probably one of the funniest ones out there.
But, that's not to say this film is perfect though by any means. Like most d**k joke films, this one contains a lot of pointless scenes that often don't go anywhere, or they tend to add nothing to the overall film itself. Don't get me wrong, it's still funny to watch, but I'd be lying if I said there weren't one or two scenes that could've been easily edited out (i.e. the sex scenes with Rose and Seth's characters).
Overall, "Neighbors" Is probably one of the funniest comedies that I've seen, and it's surprisingly deeper than most people might think. Sure, on the surface, it would be easy to see "Neighbors" as just another d**k joke movie. However, it's deeper than that, as it actually has a story to tell. Each main character has a transition to make, and each one realizes a part of themselves by the end that surprisingly doesn't feel cliched, or half hazardly written like most mainstream comedies tend to be these days. If you haven't seen "Neighbors" by now, then I would highly recommend it.
© 2014 Steven Escareno
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