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Review: Neighbors

Neighbors
05.06.2014
9 10

PLOT: A couple raising a newborn baby find themselves dealing with growing older and losing their freedoms. Things get far more complicated when a fraternity moves next door bringing partying and debauchery to a whole new level.

REVIEW: Director Nicholas Stoller’s latest comedy could have easily been a horror film. A happy couple with a brand new baby facing off against a group of antagonistic frat boys might have made for a suspenseful and freaky feature. In fact, there is most assuredly a stroke of viciousness in NEIGHBORS when it comes to the lengths these characters go in an attempt to get even. Thankfully it all ends up to be what may be the best and raunchiest comedy of the year. This revenge laden story carefully walks the fine line between vulgarity and heart, with an uncanny ability to shock and then charm the audience with simply a baby’s smile. There is certainly a ton to smile about.

Seth Rogen and Rose Byrne are Mac and Kelly Radner, first time parents coping with the joys and frustrations of a newborn baby. They are a likable – yet flawed - couple who deal with their new lives the best they can. When their friends decide to go to a rave, they mistakenly think about packing up the baby and her things and heading to the festivities. However, from sheer exhaustion they don’t even make it out the door. Things get far more challenging for the couple when the home next door is bought by a fraternity. After an awkward attempt to make friends with the frat president Teddy Sanders (Zac Efron) they make a promise to never call the police if his boys get too loud. Yet during a long night of loud music and no answer from Teddy when they call, they dial 911 starting a wicked rivalry between the two households.

With this storyline it would have been very easy to demonize the rowdy crew of young guys looking to party. Thankfully there is far more fun in having the idiocy balanced between Efron’s Sanders and Rogen’s Radner. Even Rose Byrne – who thankfully gives us her lovely natural Australian accent – has moments of lunacy and is a perfect comedic fit. As one thing leads to another and the stakes get higher, the absurdity of the situation makes for increasingly funny humor. From a dildo fight to one of the most disturbingly sidesplitting scenes involving breast milk, this goes for the comedic jugular with glee.

As for the two leading men, both Zac Efron and Seth Rogen represent a little piece of all of us. Mac Radnor is a man saying farewell to his youth and Teddy Sanders is facing an uncertain life after college. They are two men on opposite sides of the coin and it works especially well when we see them occasionally bond during the film. We also see a darker side to both as they begin to fight against one another, even if the circumstances are with humorous effect. Efron is at his best here as a young man, driven by rage, with a sole purpose in life to be remembered in frat party history. All his hopes for “greatness” start to diminish thanks to the troublesome family next door. The two actors make for perfect sparring partners.

Aside from the two leads, the rest of the cast is in perfect form. Rose Byrne is terrific as a young mother dealing with her own fear of growing old and loss of freedom. Dave Franco continues to steal a scene or two as one of Teddy’s frat brothers who sees more to life then partying. Other standout performances include Craig Roberts as the unfortunately nicknamed “Assjuice” and the very funny Ike Barinholtz (“The Mindy Project”) as Radner’s best pal. “Friends” alum Lisa Kudrow also shows up in an inspired moment as the Dean of the college who happens to have a thing for “headlines.” And let us not forget about the crazy adorable baby Stella. Both Elise Vargas and Zoey Vargas have the sweetest smile which is put to good use at the most perfect moments.

With a script by Andrew Cohen and Brendan O’Brien, director Nicholas Stoller has put together a joyfully vulgar comedy with a ton of heart. This consistently funny flick features a ton a great cameos, and a winning leading pair with Rogen and Efron – as well as a terrifically game Byrne. And best of all, it is the rare recent R-rated comedy that manages to keep its length under two hours. Without overstaying its welcome, NEIGHBORS is a delightfully dirty frat flick which manages to inject a ton of sweetness perfectly into the mix.

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Source: JoBlo.com

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2:32PM on 05/06/2014
I don't know, looks like it could be funny, but the more I watch the trailers, the more the film's central conceit falls apart for me. First of all, a fraternity (group housing) in a residential neighborhood? That's against zoning laws - they would have never been given the mortgage to the house. But okay, let's say they live in a town with different zoning laws or there's some sort of loop hole. How does this devolve into a prank war between just the frat and Rogen and Byrne? Are none of the
I don't know, looks like it could be funny, but the more I watch the trailers, the more the film's central conceit falls apart for me. First of all, a fraternity (group housing) in a residential neighborhood? That's against zoning laws - they would have never been given the mortgage to the house. But okay, let's say they live in a town with different zoning laws or there's some sort of loop hole. How does this devolve into a prank war between just the frat and Rogen and Byrne? Are none of the other neighbors lodging complaints against the frat? It seems like
situation would resolve itself rather quickly - the frat would find themselves on the wrong side of the law and would be evicted. I mean yeah, I'm being not picky, but movies have to follow some sort of internal logic, and this one doesn't seem to.
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1:52PM on 05/06/2014
A 9? That's....surprising. But this does seem like a funny movie. I'll probably check it out this weekend.
A 9? That's....surprising. But this does seem like a funny movie. I'll probably check it out this weekend.
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1:23PM on 05/06/2014
Saw it a few weeks ago and I think the score is way too high but the movie was definitely funny and worth a watch. The cast was solid (Rose Byrne and Dave Franco especially) and funny but just felt like some of the jokes fell flat and the movie felt stale at certain moments.
Saw it a few weeks ago and I think the score is way too high but the movie was definitely funny and worth a watch. The cast was solid (Rose Byrne and Dave Franco especially) and funny but just felt like some of the jokes fell flat and the movie felt stale at certain moments.
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10:26AM on 05/06/2014

The only thing it bothers me...

Is how it's possible that someone like Seth Rogen could find a wife as hot as Rose Byrne...
Is how it's possible that someone like Seth Rogen could find a wife as hot as Rose Byrne...
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9:11AM on 05/06/2014
Too soon to call this a future college comedy classic? It looks great, and this review makes me that much more excited about it. File it next to Animal House, Old School, and Van Wilder.
Too soon to call this a future college comedy classic? It looks great, and this review makes me that much more excited about it. File it next to Animal House, Old School, and Van Wilder.
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9:03AM on 05/06/2014
Definitely checking this one out. anything with Rose Byrne in it.
Definitely checking this one out. anything with Rose Byrne in it.
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7:14AM on 05/06/2014
This definitely piques my interest more than anything else I've seen. The most important thing to me is that Rose Byrne gets a chance to shine--she's got surprisingly good comedic talents.
This definitely piques my interest more than anything else I've seen. The most important thing to me is that Rose Byrne gets a chance to shine--she's got surprisingly good comedic talents.
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6:01AM on 05/06/2014

Should I watch this ?

I'm interested about the flick, especially with the good reviews, but the more I think about it, the more I doubt about givin it a shot... cause i'm afraid of the boring final message it could have, like : " familly is sooooooo nice " (of course it is), " you frat boys are so stupid and missing the real sense of life ", so cliché in Hollywood... Like Brett ratner's " The Family Man ", nice movie but, which mentally normal man would not prefer to be a NY trader who bang hotties, who earns 200
I'm interested about the flick, especially with the good reviews, but the more I think about it, the more I doubt about givin it a shot... cause i'm afraid of the boring final message it could have, like : " familly is sooooooo nice " (of course it is), " you frat boys are so stupid and missing the real sense of life ", so cliché in Hollywood... Like Brett ratner's " The Family Man ", nice movie but, which mentally normal man would not prefer to be a NY trader who bang hotties, who earns 200 grounds per month instead of diapers, birthdays parties, mortgages ??? I want a " married with children " movie !!!
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5:56AM on 05/06/2014

This is a must see for me!

BIG Seth Rogen fan so It's great to see he has really turned it back around since Green Hornett (I enjoyed it for what it was but) so its great to see him having success, This is the End was probably the best comedy of last year. If your a Seth Rogen fan I highly highly recommend watching the episode of The League s04e04, it's a completly separate episode from the rest of the series shot like a film about two dirty porn makers becoming vigilantes trying to hunt down and kill the man who killed
BIG Seth Rogen fan so It's great to see he has really turned it back around since Green Hornett (I enjoyed it for what it was but) so its great to see him having success, This is the End was probably the best comedy of last year. If your a Seth Rogen fan I highly highly recommend watching the episode of The League s04e04, it's a completly separate episode from the rest of the series shot like a film about two dirty porn makers becoming vigilantes trying to hunt down and kill the man who killed their friend. It's the funniest TV episode of any show I have ever seen.
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5:23AM on 05/06/2014
BillClay, I think you're right, it is to avoid confusion with Neighbours. I had a lot of fun with this film and i think Rose Byrne just going for it is the best part, but it's closer to a 7 than a 9 for me.
BillClay, I think you're right, it is to avoid confusion with Neighbours. I had a lot of fun with this film and i think Rose Byrne just going for it is the best part, but it's closer to a 7 than a 9 for me.
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4:01AM on 05/06/2014
Interestingly, outside the US its called Bad Neighbors.
Id imagine due to an an awful, yet wildly popular Australian soap called Neighbours.
Either way looking forward to seeing it.
Interestingly, outside the US its called Bad Neighbors.
Id imagine due to an an awful, yet wildly popular Australian soap called Neighbours.
Either way looking forward to seeing it.
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3:03AM on 05/06/2014
Based off what I have seen and the talent involved, it seems appropriate and I'm glad because this receiving a low score would have sucked.

Calling it now, that one of the cameos in the film will either be James Franco, Paul Rudd, or Jason Segel.
Based off what I have seen and the talent involved, it seems appropriate and I'm glad because this receiving a low score would have sucked.

Calling it now, that one of the cameos in the film will either be James Franco, Paul Rudd, or Jason Segel.
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2:29AM on 05/06/2014
9/10? Sounds much better than I thought it would be.
9/10? Sounds much better than I thought it would be.
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