Director: Nicholas Stoller
Starring: Seth Rogen, Rose Byrne, Zac Efron
Release Date: May 9, 2014
In 2013, Seth Rogen had all of us laughing out loud with his summer comedy This is the End. Rogen, who wrote the film, had his buddies James Franco, Jonah Hill, Danny McBride and almost everybody else in Hollywood join him for the film. But this time Rogen removes himself from behind the scene and decides to work on screen, leaving the script writing for newcomers Andrew J. Cohen and Brendan O'Brian. Rogen is also joined by both Zac Efron and rose Byrne for this film. With a weaker supporting cast and Rogen not writing the jokes, will Neighbors be another success or bust for Seth Rogen?
Seth Rogen plays Mac Radner, and with his wife Kelly (Rose Byrne), move into a peaceful neighborhood that is perfect to raise their baby girl. Well, that is until the Delta Psi Beta fraternity move right next door to them. Mac and Kelly want to appear cool but they want to make sure that the fraternity respects the fact that they also have a baby to raise. They greet Teddy Sanders (Zac Efron), the charming president of Delta Psi Beta, with open arms and a joint to show off their cool side. After Delta Psi Beta’s first party the Radners decide to keep their cool persona and approach Teddy with the noise complaint to their face in hopes that would be enough. Teddy makes a request of his own, to always approach him first with noise complaints instead of calling the police. However, after one more extremely loud party, Mac and Kelly end up calling the police. When asked who called them, the officer points his finger at the Radners, and the frat boys officially declare war.
Seth Rogen and Rose Byrne are portrayed as hard drinking, pot smoking parents who have no regard for taking care of their new baby. As they partied on a couple of occasions while leaving their new born baby in the house alone. But despite that, the couple is instantly likeable throughout the film and you become invested in their attempts to shut down the fraternity. Not because you want to see their lives go back to normal and have their daughter not be raised next to drugged and sex crazed college students but because you want to see to what extent they will go to make it happen.
Sometimes juvenile, vulgar humor works for a film and sometimes it doesn't. For Neighbors unfortunately the latter applies to the film. Neighbors lacks character and plot development and instead focuses on stringing together a collection of silly and entertaining skits and this is where the film fails. If the skits are a hit and indeed enjoyable then Rogen was able to follow up This is the End with another comedic hit. Every scene basically involved sex, drug use, or some kind of adolescent act. In parts those elements can be hilarious but when that's the only thing the film consists of then you're going have some problems.
Seth Rogen has most of the time stuck to this type of comedy, and I don't have a problem with that because that is what we have grown and loved about him as an actor. But Rose Byrne on the other hand? Once again, she has surprised me with her character being exceptionally funny. After Bridesmaids and Get Him to the Greek, I am starting to expect to see the serious actress from August: Osage County have me laughing. Teen crazed females are probably excited that Zac Efron is a star in the film and they get an opportunity to see their eye candy shirtless but I wonder how they will feel when they see Seth Rogen with his shirt off. Not a sight you want to remember. But Efron did impress me with his role.
The momentum of the film stays the same throughout and the pranks are delivered in no particular order. They work but due to seeing them in the promotional campaign of the film, you aren't caught as off guard as you could have been. Neighbors will have you laughing out loud but not necessarily because it’s funny, mostly because of how outrageous the pranks are. Pass on seeing the film in theaters and wait for it to hit Netflix or On Demand.
Labels: 2014, Movie Review, Neighbors, Nicholas Stoller, On Demand, Rose Byrne, Seth Rogen, Zac Efron