review//NEIGHBORS

Grade: C+

NEIGHBORS
Directed by Nicholas Stoller
Starring Seth Rogen, Rose Byrne, Zac Efron, Dave Franco

Hollywood is notorious for getting us excited about something and then failing to deliver. Pearl Harbor was supposed to be the next Titanic. How many years have we been waiting for an Arrested Development movie? And, do I need to even mention the Hangover sequels? More times than not it's comedy and horror where we usually get duped. And, unfortunately, that's what happens with Neighbors.

Seth Rogen stars at Mac Radner, an early-thirtysomething married to Rose Byrne's Kelly. The two have a baby and are wrestling with the hardships of young life and married parenthood. At the opening the two are debating whether or not to pack things up and take the baby for her first outing so they can get out of the house or just stay in. After deciding to venture outside, the two fall asleep while loading and packing everything. Parenthood is exhausting. The life struggle to "stay young" only gets more difficult after a fraternity moves in next door. In trying to stay hip and cool, while also keeping their sanity, the two head next door to welcome the frat and offer some words of guidance (including a hilarious bit trying to ask them to "keep it down"). This opens the door for a relentless relationship between Mac, Kelly, and the fraternity's chapter president, Teddy Sanders (Zac Efron). The couple are invited to the night's party and, upon accepting the invitation, are thrown into a bit of extreme alcohol and drug-infused photo ops that come in handy the next night when the police are called. The fight goes back and forth for a while resulting in some comedy moments, both high and low. 

While the premise is great and gives much to be desired, it's the display that suffers. The entire cast, including Dave Franco as the frat president's right hand man, are genius and completely give off the vibe that they had a great time making this movie. Unfortunately the structure of the presentation makes the entire thing feel like a jumbled mess. Weird edits and cuts interrupt the flow of the story. If the intention was to make it feel like a smorgasbord of moments, then I guess the director pulls it off. But, I don't think that was the intention. 

Neighbors also falls victim to the dreaded R-rated comedy ill of showing all of the high comedic moments in the trailer. Other comedies, like Bridesmaids and The Hangover, gave just enough to draw you in, but totally made it worth it by offering more. Even with its additional raunchy moments, Neighbors couldn't quite meet up with the moments it already showed us. Luckily, those moments were funny enough to get a laugh the second time around. 

It's not a bad film, per se, but it's definitely messy enough to not be as good as it looks. Rogen is his usual laughable self. Byrne shines as the lead female. Efron is frat-tastic and the girls will love getting so many glimpses of his ridiculous abs. Neighbors will undoubtedly become an oft-quoted film on college campuses and join the DVD libraries next to The Hangover, but, unfortunately, it'll be getting a little more glory than it deserves. 

Rating: R
Runtime: 96 minutes

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