Review of: “Neighbors”
If you like Seth Rogan you will like this movie. But if you are not so sure about Seth’s comedy be prepared to be surprised. Because, like all of us he is maturing and so is his comedy.
Life is about growing. Most of us as we get older learn what to leave behind (getting drunk or high on a regular basis) and what new things to embrace (regular employment and being responsible). We also learn what is most important in life at any age (friends and family).
This is what Neighbors is all about. And it is hilarious!
Mac and Kelly (Seth Rogan and Rose Byrne) are new parents and new home owners. They are just getting used to the struggle between who they used to be and who they have become. Kelly is bored being a stay at home mom and Mac is missing their old, “wilder” life.
But they are older and have the responsibility that comes from having a daughter (Stella played delightfully by Elise and Zoey Vargas). So when a friend talks them into getting out to go to a rave, they thing that they can still have “fun and a baby” after all. But they miss the party because they fall asleep at the front door while trying to pack everything but the kitchen sink for the baby.
It is at this point they see that the house next door has been sold to a fraternity.
It is both painful and funny to see how badly they want to be both responsible (“keep it down”) and cool. Seeing all of the college kids and partying makes them both concerned and jealous. To Teddy and Pete’s (Zac Efron, Dave Franco- the fraternity’s president and vice president) credit they try to get on Mac and Kelly’s good side by inviting them in to their party.
Everyone seems to be having a great time. Mac and Teddy seem to be bonding; discussing who the best Batman was, and “crossing swords” while peeing. But the next night there is another party and eventually Mac and Kelly have to call the police. This is when Teddy decides that the neighbors are now at war.
The lengths to which Teddy will go to get back at the “old people” are mind boggling. The De Niro party and the air bag gags are the best of their gambits and are laugh out loud funny.
All of the sight gags are funny, what but I liked best were the interactions between characters. For example, when Kelly and Mac arguing about who is more irresponsible (or more “Kevin James”) or how to help Kelly when her breasts become too engorged with milk (“be a man and milk me!”). Then there is when Teddy and Pete riff on ridiculous variations of the “bros before hos” mantra.
And best of all is the final fight between Teddy and Mac. It was both realistic, absurd, and funny (it is always handy to have a mini-tramp ready when someone throws a beer can at you).
It is also in the character dialogs that we see that Pete and Teddy are also trying to deal with growing up. Is having the most epic party ever more important than being prepared for what comes after college?
This is why this comedy is a step or two above the usual drunken party/stoned/sight gag movie. You get to see the insecurities and motivations that drive the characters to such hilarious antics. We can identify with all of them, have a good time, and not have an epic hangover at the end of the party.