3 out of 5 stars (average)
Seth Rogen and Zac Efron are two very unique actors. Rogen is a chubby, profane guy known for his raunchy humor, and Efron is a muscular chick magnet with a heart of gold. Whoever put these two together should be commended for their fine work, for Neighbors utilizes both of their comedic strengths in a way I never thought possible.
The film centers on Mac (Rogen) and Kelly Radnor (Rose Byrne), parents to baby Stella. While they enjoy raising their daughter, the sacrifices of that position are sometimes annoying (they should probably write a parenting book on coping with the loss of certain freedoms after childbirth). Other than those issues that all new parents must deal with, their lives couldn’t be happier.
Unfortunately, their simple, happy life is severely overturned when a fraternity moves next door. The fraternity president, Teddy (Zac Efron trying out a different kind of role) assures them that everything will be okay; just call him instead of the cops if the roof is raised too high. When things get too far out of control, Mac and Kelly engage in a battle royal with the frat house in order to get their lives back.
I was excited when I saw the trailer for this movie because it had a fantastic premise and two perfectly opposite actors to play the leads. On most levels, Neighbors succeeds: It’s funny, the actors are well-chosen, and the message is applicable to a wide audience. The only problem is the film’s occasional use of dialogue that sounds like the actors were ad-libbing it and the director, Nicholas Stoller (Forgetting Sarah Marshall) just let them do whatever they wanted. Though it’s only present in a few scenes, it slows the movie down noticeably in what is otherwise a hilarious battle of the boneheads.
Seth Rogen, as always, is funny, and Rose Byrne shows she can hold her own against him and Efron. Dave Franco (Now You See Me) does a good job as the Vice President of the frat, showing that his brother James isn’t the only one with acting skills, and Christopher Mintz-Plasse is, well, Christopher Mintz-Plasse. Rather he be McLoven, Red Mist, or Scoonie in this film, he will always be the king of the awkwardly hilarious character. The real star of the movie is Efron, who looks like he’s having a blast playing the party boy. I am interested to see how Efron’s career progresses throughout the next few years: he’s gone from teen heartthrob to frat president in a matter of only eight years. Here’s hoping he continues to entertain us.
If you are not a fan of raunchy movies, then do not see this one. Seth Rogen movies generally go in this category, and this one is no exception. However, if you like Seth Rogen movies, then you will like this one too. Efron’s presence should also draw a larger female audience, so sit back, relax, and love these Neighbors
Rated R for Pervasive language, Strong Crude and Sexual Content, Graphic Nudity, and Drug Use Throughout.