Movie Review: Neighbors
Prinz Lee wrote this review 2 years and 10 months ago
A bit over-the-top, loud, hard and raw – but hilarious nonetheless!
In this day-and-age we need to thank comedic Gods like Todd Phillips, Judd Apatow, and dynamic duos like Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg for reviving and reshaping the art of R-rated comedy movies. For a while now it seemed like a simple one-note attempt at laughs for the purpose of appealing to the masses. Now, seriously, if we’re going to live in a world where we can’t flip-the-script on existences as a whole and try to see some humor in it, than I rather jump in front of an oncoming train because as one whose sense-of-humor ranges from sweet to sour, like an addict, hard comedy withdraws are not easy to deal with. I’m always seeking that next hit to shoot up, enjoy the high, relax and embark on some more smack – and I believe I found a hit. Well, I guess, maybe not enough to reach cult-comedy-classic status like ANIMAL HOUSE (for example), but I know I found a hit. NEIGHBORS is the “LOL” movie of the year so far. It goes beyond providing anything and everything you want in an 8-ball of comedy.
Starring Seth Rogen, Zac Efron and Rose Byrne NEIGHBORS is an edgy, crafty comedy about a young couple suffering from arrested development who, by misfortune, find themselves forced to live next to a fraternity house full of wise-cracks, an overflow of testosterone and pulsating parties after the birth of their sweet newborn.
No matter how anyone cuts it, a situation like this is a recipe for disaster. NEIGHBORS is the kind of movie that sets its pace and the kind of comedy you’re going to get as soon as the first scene hits. Followed by a hysterical and dysfunctional stir-of-echoes, a lot of the strength that comes from the movie doesn’t only tie in to its great one-liners and over-the-top antics, but its cast. Its cast plays a major role in how and why this piece wound up fun, funny and very entertaining.
Seth Rogen is in his usual element and wearing two hats: producer (first and foremost) and actor gave us yet another example of why this man is one of our greatest comedians to date. He knows what works and how to lay it down and generate a link-of-laughs among his costars. He’s not watered down in the least bit. HOWEVER, watching Rose Bryne and Zac Efron on a level that isn’t their usual style was what made it interestingly better for me.
Rose Bryne has done comedy before. We’ve seen her comedic spark in GET HIM TO THE GREEK (also directed by Nicholas Stoller) and BRIDESMAIDS, but this is something totally different and outside of a zone we’ve ever seen her before. She did very well across Rogen – and at times even STOLE scenes from him. Very bold and straightforward, Rose’s character isn’t simply the wife who’s there just on the sidelines.
The same can be said for Zac Efron in this film. Mr. CHARLIE ST. CLOUD could have been a typical one-note, douche-bag type we’re use to watching “pretty boys” like him play. But aside from those charming good looks and hypnotic eyes, Zac’s role as the fraternity’s president was taken to a higher level of unexpected outcomes and laughs to go along with it. Witty and defiant, Zac balanced out a lot in the movie.
The backbone to this intergenerational piece of frat vs. family is its supporting cast! Dave Franco, Christopher Mintz-Plasse and hilarious newcomer Jerrod Carmichael as Zac’s fraternity brothers are simply a charm to watch. Adding to the film’s chuckles, the level of talent working off one another is just great to take once the craziness begins.
The anticipation of nuttiness builds scene by scene. Almost like an entire movie of gags and skits, NEIGHBORS is a great display of comedy focusing on life and the challenges that arise at the moment one needs to realize it’s time to grow up. Sure, it can be off-putting at times, especially with jokes that pertain to diseases, the neglect of an infant, the constant promotion of drugs, homoerotic humor, etc. but it’s a specific type of comedy we sinfully enjoy and you can’t deny it, otherwise, you’re either a prude or a hypocritical douche.
Much like most heavy-hitting R-rated comedies, it’s not for everyone. It’s hard, blue comedy at its harshest. Lacking a bit of story structure and perhaps sympathy for the characters, the only reason this movie exists is to do what it needs to do – and that’s make you laugh your ass off. Mission Accomplished, motherfuckers!
Grade: A / Genre: Comedy / Rated: R / Run Time: 1 Hr. 35 Min.
Starring: Seth Rogen, Zac Efron, Rose Byrne, Christopher Mintz-Plasse, Dave Franco, Jerrod Carmichael
Directed by: Nicholas Stoller