Neighbors (2014)


Neighbors can be a blessing and a curse. It’s always nice when they’re respectful of your space and peace, but it sucks when they’re up all night or creating a ruckus that keeps you up. Most people are civil though, so a quick conversation will hopefully cure any bad blood. However, an age gap may make things a bit harder, especially when respect is lost and your neighbors are a bunch of assholes. This is how feuds begin and those feuds may evolve into something more. The best part is, everyone looks immature and others are granted the chance to laugh at your situation. Chances are, though, you’ve never had to deal with a fraternity moving in next door. If you can’t imagine what that’s like, continue reading.

Mac and Kelly are cool, right?

Mac and Kelly are cool, right?

Mac (Seth Rogen) and Kelly (Rose Byrne) have recently moved into a new neighborhood, where they plan to raise their newborn daughter in peace. Still struggling with the art of parenthood, things only get tougher for the couple when a fraternity moves next door to them. Led by Teddy (Zac Efron), the jock President, and Pete (Dave Franco), the more intelligent Vice-President, the frat has no intentions of staying calm and quiet. That is, until Mac and Kelly try to play it cool and ask the frat to keep it down, as they have a baby girl in their house. Teddy and Pete agree to be quiet and respectful, as long as the couple comes to talk to them, rather than calling the cops for a noise complaint.

Of course, the fraternity does what a fraternity does and they party all the time. Their rambunctious partying gets out of hand quickly and Mac and Kelly are forced to call the cops. Little did they know, this betrayal of trust sets off a fuse in Teddy and sparks a pranking war between the frat and the couple. Nothing is off-limits and the hilarity ensues when unspeakable actions and scenarios occur. With the help of fellow frat members Sconnie (Christopher Mintz-Plasse) and Garf (Jerrod Carmichael), Teddy and Pete try some more immature methods of pranking, where as Mac and Kelly enlist the help of their divorced friends Jimmy (Ike Barinholtz) and Paula (Carla Gallo). It’s a battle for territory and title, as both groups are willing to do anything to defeat the other. I mean “anything”.

The frat is having a Robert De Niro party...

The frat is having a Robert De Niro party…

Neighbors has all the right things going for it and it’s one of the more original and hilarious comedy films of recent times. College exploitation films have been around for ages, but this film manages to break some new ground, as it pits a fraternity against a family that’s attempting to be hip and cool, even after having a new child. The chemistry between the characters is fantastic and that really heightens this film’s approach to a prank war between the two factions. Prepare for a lot of laughter and for your sides to be aching the next morning.

Zac Efron and Seth Rogen are a comedy duo for the ages. While Eforn balances cool and preppy, Rogen attempts to act hip and hop, while actually coming off as old and weird. Their hilarious antics are quite amusing and their pranks on one another will have you laughing hysterically. Efron encompasses every single jock and college frat guy that you can imagine and he nails the role, especially when he removes his shirt and exploits his body for the gain of the fraternity. Rogen, who’s struggling with parenthood, tries to let loose and have fun and his adult pranks and outlook on college life offer up a lot of laughs as well. When the two butt heads, it’s a joy to watch and your sides are going to be aching.

Mac tries to gain the frat mentality.

Mac tries to gain the frat mentality.

Rose Byrne and Dave Franco would be categorized under the supporting category, but both have much to offer as well. Bryne, a new mother, is stuck at home and bored all the time and she plays that really well. Her longing for fun and excitement is hilarious and her non-cool approach to the frat is really amusing. Franco, on the other hand, is almost the antithesis of Efron, as he’s interested in his future and the possibilities after college. However, that doesn’t mean that he’s not involved in the outrageous antics of the frat. Franco has a natural presence in the film and his slight humor works well because of his calm approach to any situation. There’s no shortage of talent in this film, especially when it comes to small bits from McLovin (Christopher Mintz-Plasse).

Despite being a comedy that’s a bit far-fetched in reality, this film does speak to a lot of truths about college life and new-found family life. There’s a sense of brotherhood in a fraternity and a bond that’s near unbreakable, meaning your bro’s have your back during all sorts of crazy times. As for family life, it must be weird being the only one of your friends with a kid and having to adapt to a new lifestyle. Neighbors captures the hilarity and sincerity in both of these situations and plays off of their troupes with ease. Elaborating on some troubles that both might encounter, Neighbors leaves nothing to the imagination and boldly shows off everything without hesitation. There’s a lot of drug use, nudity, profanity, and there are many uncomfortable instances that make for an outrageous time at the movies.

Some crazy stuff is going down at the frat house.

Some crazy stuff is going down at the frat house.

As funny as Neighbors is, it still encounters some of the same issues that most comedies do. After some of the best and most funny scenes in the film, there are some slower scenes that rely heavily on story-building and they get bogged down by the¬†dullness of planning. You want the film to be consistently funny, but has to slow down and be sweet to fulfill the protagonists wishes. While that’s fine and well, it’s not what you’re looking for and it’s not all that funny either. This film could have also benefited from being an extra half-hour longer, because this film is insanely funny and I wanted more from it. More of McLovin is also never a bad thing, as he’s somewhat repressed in this film. Still, this film is the funniest thing that I’ve seen in a long time.

Neighbors succeeds on almost every comedic front and it’s plethora of jokes and shocking scenarios are enough to get you dying of laughter. Zac Efron redeems himself as a comedy star and Seth Rogen continues to impress with his weed-loving habits and no-restraint attitude. With great supporting characters and a hilarious balance of frat life and family life, this film will appeal to most people and may even be relatable for some as well. It’s crazy and ridiculous, but it manages to be truthful in the process and that makes it all the more hysterical. This is easily the funniest film I’ve seen in a long time and it’s one that people will surely flock to the theater to go see. Just make sure you go with the right people, else you’re in for an uncomfortable time.

Neighbors Trailer

3.5 STARS!!!

3.5 / 5 stars     

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