Monday, June 2, 2014

It Came From The Cineplex: Neighbors

Neighbors was directed by Nicholas Stoller and written by Andrew J. Cohen and Brendan O'Brien. It was produced by Seth Rogen and his perennial film partner Evan Goldberg.

Stoller's had quite a hit & miss (mostly miss) film career, directing Forgetting Sarah Marshall, Yes Man, Gulliver's Travels and The Muppets. Now THAT'S a resume!


SPOILERS, I GUESS!
The Plot: 
New parents Mac and Kelly Radner (Seth Rogen and Rose Byrne) are horrified when a noisy fraternity moves into the house next door to theirs. They try to make nice with the rowdy fratboys, but when that fails they vow to run them out of the neighborhood. That's pretty much it for 97 minutes.

Thoughts:
• This is going to be a very short review, as I really don't have much to say about this film. As with most modern comedies, I thought it was mildly amusing at best, it entertained me for an hour and a half and I'd almost completely forgotten about it by the time I walked out to my car.

• This may be a cinematic first-- Seth Rogen actually plays a somewhat responsible character. If you ignore all the sitcom scheming and conniving to drive the frat from the neighborhood, his character is a fairly decent husband and father.

• As a heterosexual male over 40, this was my first ever exposure to Zac Efron. On the extremely rare occasion when I thought of him at all, I considered him little more than a male model. Surprisingly he did a pretty decent acting job here (in the interest of full disclosure though, the script didn't demand much from him).

• Who knew Rose Byrne could do comedy? And kudos to the filmmakers for actually giving her a chance to be funny, instead of focusing solely on Seth Rogen.


• Christopher Mintz-Plasse is in the film, and plays pretty much the same character he's played in every other movie he's ever been in. 

One day soon he's going to have to try and stretch his acting muscles and play a character radically different from McLovin, or he's going to end up signing autographs at conventions for the rest of his life.

• The film's crude visual and verbal humor definitely earns its R rating. Not that there's anything wrong with that-- if you're an adult. Unfortunately there were quite a few kids under 12 at the showing I attended. 


Why do people bring their kids to movies like this? It makes me uncomfortable laughing at a dick joke when there's an eight year old kid sitting next to me. I hope the Parents Of The Year who brought their kids to this film had had fun later trying to explain what a dildo is and how and where one is used.

Neighbors is a crude, raunchy and reasonably entertaining comedy that you'll forget about immediately after seeing. I give it a B-.

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