Written By Giorgio Ramos
‘Neighbors’ is a story about a couple, Mac & Kelly Radner (played by Seth Rogen & Rose Byrne), who just moved into a house with their newly born daughter. At first, everything is going well for the couple, their neighborhood is quiet and friendly and they are happy with their new life as a family. That is until the couple learns that their new neighbors next door will be a college fraternity. The couple are quick to greet a welcoming to the leader of the frat. house Teddy Sander (Zac Efron) and his frat. brothers (played by Dave Franco, Christopher Mintz-Plasse and Jerrod Carmichael) with intentions of making their noise level limitations during the late night be known. After a hilarious and awkward first meeting, Teddy (Efron) informs the couple to call him for any problems. One night, a party is thrown at the frat. house and after multiple attempts at trying to reach the frat. leader, the couple decide to anonymously call the police on their neighbors. Thinking the situation is resolved peacefully, Teddy and his frat. brothers learn that their neighbors were the callers. After a broken trust between the couple and the frat. leader, the fraternity declares war on the neighbors with a handful of clever and funny pranks. When the pranks become too much, the couple fires back with some pranks of their own. Soon the pranks and jokes begin to get a little out of hand, with people on both sides beginning to wonder just how much longer and further this could go on.
Neighbors is directed by Nicholas Stoller, who’s directorial work includes Forgetting Sarah Marshall and Get Him To The Greek. I thought Stoller’s direction with the story was very simple and fun. Allowing the actors to improvise on the spot has seemed to pay off. The party scenes in the frat. house were well shot and made me actually want to party. The movie flowed nicely with each scene having its share of laughs. Also, a great job from writers Andrew J. Cohen and Brendan O’Brien for a great comedy that really delivers. I get a good laugh just reciting some of the things mentioned in Neighbors to my fellow film fans.
Seth Rogen as Mac Radner was excellent once again. Seeing him play the grown up father of his new born and the family man was something different. Rogen sets the tone of the film in the beginning with his natural comedic personality. I couldn’t find one scene where he wasn’t funny. Both Rogen and Bryne show their worries of being too grown up when dealing with the fraternity. They at times get a little too caught up in these pranks, which I thought the conflict worked. Though it’s no easy task, Bryne does play well off Rogen and the two are great on screen.
Speaking of Rose Bryne as Kelly Radner, her role in Neighbors does show that she can do comedy. She’s had previous experience in this genre with supporting roles in Bridesmaids and The Internship, but she really delivers in a major way with Neighbors. Some of the pranks in the film that heavily involve Bryne don’t disappoint. There is a scene where at the frat. party she completely takes command and shows that she may have grown up but she still has a bit of youth in her. One of those “been there, done that” cool kind of moments.
Zac Efron gave a great performance as frat. leader Teddy Sanders. Proving once again that the dude can act. His character was written a bit shallow, but Efron works with what he’s given. You’ll find one or two moments in the film where the story gets a bit dramatic for Efron’s character and with it he really shows his acting abilities. I compared his performance in Neighbors to Channing Tatum’s in 21 Jump Street. His frat. brothers played by Dave Franco, Christopher Mintz-Plasse and Jarrod Carmichael were all excellent. Franco did the best impersonation of Robert DeNiro from the film Meet The Parents. There was also more to his character in the later parts of the film, as he begins to show that his focus is more on his future rather than now. Jarrod Carmichael had his scene stealing moments and before this movie I wasn’t aware of just how funny he is.
The film all around was really funny and entertaining. There aren’t too many problems I had with it. For example, some of the moments that test the relationship between certain characters were poorly written. Very few moments that were intended to be funny were not. I found myself not being the only audience member who didn’t laugh, but again that was maybe one or two moments. These are small things, however the movie really is a great time. There are certain things in the film we as people can relate to. There are plenty of laughs through out the film. Not to mention the “aww moments” with Mac & Kelly Radner’s baby. Neighbors is a damn good comedy.
I give ‘Neighbors’ a 9.5/10
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