Neighbors

Neighbors

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

Stevennix2001's Rating:

9.4 / 10

Pros:

- 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

Cons:


- 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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Comments 16 comments

Meisjunk profile image

Meisjunk 2 years ago from Pennsylvania

Thanks for the analysis! I want to see this movie so bad! But I have been hesitant because of the possibility of sexist slurs and rape jokes that seem to be added to movies these days. By your descriptions, it doesn't seem that those are an issue?

Voted up and awesome! I'll definitely be giving the movie a chance.


Stevennix2001 profile image

Stevennix2001 2 years ago Author

Actually, I never said there wasn't any sexual slurs in this movie, as it's still a d**k joke movie. Sure, it's story is surprisingly better than expected, but it's still a d**k joke movie, so there's actually quite a bit of sex jokes in this. As for rape jokes, I think there's only one in it, as far as I can remember. It's only for like one scene though if that helps. However, I'm sorry if i gave you the wrong impression that this movie doesn't have sexual jokes, but it does.


Meisjunk profile image

Meisjunk 2 years ago from Pennsylvania

I'm not worried about sexual jokes or innuendos. I'm worried about when those jokes degrade women, but thanks for clarifying! If there's a rape joke in it, then the writer probably isn't worth watching.


Stevennix2001 profile image

Stevennix2001 2 years ago Author

Well to each their own, I can certainly understand why you wouldn't want to watch it. Anyways, I'm glad I could help, and thanks for stopping by. :)


Sunshine625 profile image

Sunshine625 2 years ago from Orlando, FL

Excellent movie! Seth and Zac rocked their roles. We were laughing up to 2 hours after the movie ended. Old people know how to have fun!! Lol


Stevennix2001 profile image

Stevennix2001 2 years ago Author

Yeah, this is definitely the best comedy that I've seen all year. Definitely worth checking out. Although I'm still baffled that this movie dethroned spider-man 2 a few weeks ago, but I guess all the mixed reactions to it might've hurt it's chances at dominating two weeks in a row. Oh well. "Neighbors" was still a great comedy though. Anyway, thanks for stopping by again sunshine as it was a pleasure seeing you.


Nickalooch profile image

Nickalooch 2 years ago from Columbia, MD

I loved the movie. I was very surprised by how well Efron did in the movie and even Rose Byrne. it is amazing to think she has not had her chance to headline a comedy yet.

You hear about the rumors of Efron playing Cyclops?


Stevennix2001 profile image

Stevennix2001 2 years ago Author

actually i haven't. that's a rather interesting choice. To be honest, I'm not really familiar with most of Zac Efron's body of work, but I was probably going to check out more of his movies though after seeing "Neighbors." Although, he does look like he can play a young cyclops though, as he already has the look.


Nickalooch profile image

Nickalooch 2 years ago from Columbia, MD

Neighbors is the first thing he has done outside of teeny romantic movies I believe. Business side, I am sure they'd get a lot of a certain demographic to see their movies with Channing Tatum and Zac Efron in their movies. Just saying. lol


Stevennix2001 profile image

Stevennix2001 2 years ago Author

lol. I don't disagree. Although didn't Zac Efron do a movie with Nicole Kidman last year though? I forget what it was called, but I just remember she was up for a SAG award for it. I'll have to look it up.


Nickalooch profile image

Nickalooch 2 years ago from Columbia, MD

I can't remember if he was. There are rumors that Efron is also up for an unnamed Marvel/Universal film, Namor the Sub Mariner. Except I think Laura Shuler Donner who campaigned heavily for Tatum as Gambit is doing the same for Efron as Cyclops.


Stevennix2001 profile image

Stevennix2001 2 years ago Author

That's true. Maybe that's why she wants to campaign heavily for Efron right now. He is a hot actor in hollywood these days, and he's slowly becoming a household name. I think it would be smart on fox's part to get him before marvel studios does. As far as him playing cyclops though, I think he has the right look for the character, but I still can't say if he'll pull off the role. As for Tatum, I still have my doubts about it.

I know most people that i talked to keep saying he has great comedic timing, but the truth is most of the comedy that I saw him pull off in 21 jump street mainly resonated off his interactions with Jonah Hill; which makes me question whether or not he'd be funny on his own, so i wouldn't say he's a great comedic actor. As far as him doing action roles, I know he does action pretty well from seeing him do the gi joe movies, but the thing is his acting was mediocre in those films. Hell, even watching in such films like "The Vow" and "Dear John", he practically came off like a Marty Stu kind of character if you ask me. Granted, that's mostly the way his characters were written in both films, but those are the only two I can think of to gage how well he is at doing dramatic parts.

I'm hoping Tatum will prove me wrong, and do one helluva a job playing Gambit, but we'll see. I still can't imagine him pulling it off, but you never know?


Nickalooch profile image

Nickalooch 2 years ago from Columbia, MD

As far as Tatum goes, I have never thought he is particularly good at anything. The one thing he is good at, is getting himself surrounded by talented people and having a good agent. Soderbergh has done a lot for him. Yet you look at his career and not one movie does he stick out and make you say, "Wow, he can act." He fades into the background due to the fact of how stiff of an actor he is but gets by based off of how many girls love him and by the people he surrounds himself with. As far as comedic timing, you are completely right. There is a reason why that film centered mainly around Jonah Hill, Hill can carry a film. Tatum's scenes by himself were simply not funny or particularly engaging.

I also agree about Efron, but it is smart to get an actor on the upswing. Which he is. He'd probably make a better Gambit if he were a bit taller.


Stevennix2001 profile image

Stevennix2001 2 years ago Author

Well I don't think height is that big of a factor when it comes to these castings, as you can literally make anyone look tall on the big screen these days. Heck, Tom Cruise is short, but in "Eyes Wide Shut", it seemed like him and Nicole Kidman were practically the same height.

However, the more I think about it, I think Efron probably would've made a great gambit. However, if Efron and Tatum are cast though, I'm just curious to see who they'll cast to play the younger Jean Grey and Storm though. I know there's been like an online petition to get that one girl from "12 years a slave" to be the new storm, but I'm not sure if they'll want her or not. I personally think they should cast her. I mean she's not really that famous right now, so they can probably sign her to a multiple film deal fairly cheap. That's assuming she would even be remotely interested at this point, as I'm sure her recent oscar victory probably opened up a few doors for her.


Nickalooch profile image

Nickalooch 2 years ago from Columbia, MD

I heard rumors back after first class that they were looking at Rutina Wesley for the part, from True Blood. I don't know if that interest is carrying over though. As for Jean, there have been rumors of Sophie Turner from Game of Thrones, my personal favorite is Amber Heard though. but age wise Heard is older, I think late 20's?


Stevennix2001 profile image

Stevennix2001 2 years ago Author

well that might work considering Famke Jensen is older than James Marsden, so it would make sense to cast an actress that's older than Zac Efron if he does turn out to be cyclops that is.

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