Review

Seth Rogan stars in Nicholas Stoller’s (Forgetting Sarah MarshallGet Him to the Greek) new film Neighbors, as new father and homeowner Mac, who along with with wife Kelly (Rose Byrne) and newborn daughter buy their dream house to start their new lives.  Unfortunately for Mac and Kelly, a a local Fraternity move in next door, and the chaos ensues.  Zac Effron and Dave Franco lead the frat pack as the frat president and vice president respectively.  Mac and Kelly are attempting to adjust to life as parents, turning down the party scene in favor of the respibility of parenthood.  Since they both still feel young and hip, they feel like they can talk the frat into keeping the noise down, and while initially having success, the frat quickly turn on the couple.  Once their relationship is strained, Teddy (Efron) and Pete (Franco) make it their sole mission to f*ck with Mac and Kelly and make their lives hell.  The pranks begin innocent enough, but quickly escalate into more than any of them expected.

TowniesWhile Neighbors doesn’t provide anything groundbreaking or new to the genre, it provides constant laughs throughout.  It does exactly what it sets out to do, and is funny throughout.  Seth Rogan has great chemistry with Rose Byrne, and the two make a believably lovable awkward couple.  I’m personally at an age where a lot of friends are getting married and even having kids, and can relate to the characters (although they are still significantly older).  I’m at in in-between age of becoming an old man, but still haven’t left the psyche of a young college kid.  I’m in no-mans-land, and leaning more towards becoming a true “adult”.  I don’t want kids yet, and am to old for the frat nonsense.  Mac and Kelly attempting to deal with the frat set up a lot of great gags, and the frat was as obnoxious as you could expect.  I couldn’t imagine living next to a frat, and the film does a great job showing what it could actually be like.  The pacing of the film is fantastic, as enough backstory and establishing the characters was handled quickly, but significantly enough to where you can relate to them.

Director Nicholas Stoller has made quite a name for himself in the comedy world, with what will sure be yet another hit on his hands.  Stoller got his start on Judd Apatow’s short but beloved 2000-2001 FOX series Undeclared.  Since then, he has gone on to write, direct, and produce his own films, typically within the Apatow universe.  While not writing Neighbors, his influence is evident throughout.  Along with the strong direction, the acting carries the film from gag-to-gag.

TowniesAlong the way, through flashbacks and stories, the cameos in Neighbors are perfectly placed.  I won’t talk about the cameos in any more detail, but fans will be thrilled to see some of their favorites make quick appearances.  Effron and Franco make great antagonists, and are hilarious throughout.  Seth Rogan played off these two well, and while many of the funniest moments were in the trailer, there is enough that wasn’t that the film still succeeds.

There may be one-to-many dick jokes, but that may be expected with this crew.  Neighbors may not be as memorable as some of Stoller and Rogans other work, it provides plenty of laughs throughout to entertain everyone.  College kids will love this movie, and new or older parents will find it entertaining.  While not perfect, Neighbors is a laugh a minute ride through the downfalls of homeownership.

Neighbors is now playing in theaters nationwide.



About the Author

Peter Towe
Peter Towe
A graduate of UMASS Boston, I have successfully put off getting a "real" job, and continue to watch, produce, review, and obsess over movies. I lived in Boston while I completed my degree, and now live in Chicago trying the improv thing.