|NEIGHBORS (director: Nicholas Stoller; screenwriters: Andrew J. Cohen/ Brendan O'Brien; cinematographer: Brandon Trost; editor: Zene Baker; music: Michael Andrews; cast: Seth Rogen (Mac Radner), Zac Efron (Teddy Sanders), Rose Byrne (Kelly Radner), Christopher Mintz-Plasse (Scoonie), Dave Franco (Pete), Ike Barinholtz (Jimmy), Jerrod Carmichael (Garf), Andy Samberg (Toga No. 1), Carla Gallo (Paula), Hannibal Buress (Officer Watkins), Lisa Kudrow (Dean Carol Gladstone), Zoey Vargas (Stella); Runtime: 96; MPAA Rating: R; producers: Seth Rogen/Evan Goldberg/James Weaver; Universal; 2014)|
vulgar than funny."
by Dennis Schwartz
Animal House party boy youth comedy about a
generation war between jerky college kids and a
pretentious young adult couple of marrieds
trying to grow up. The film is more vulgar than
funny. Director Nicholas Stoller
("Forgetting Sarah Marshall"/"Get Him
to the Greek"/"The Five-Year
Engagement") keeps it frat boy stupid (it's a
movie theme staple which seems to have a large mass
appeal), as writers Andrew J. Cohen and Brendan O'Brien
spare us none of the usual raucous comic moments in
this witless comedy genre. In addition, it's lazily
scripted and offers nothing much worthwhile to say
about growing up.
Office worker Mac
Radner (Seth Rogen) and bored
stay-at-home mom Kelly (Rose Byrne)
and infant Stella (Zoey Vargas) enjoy living in
their new bungalow home. But the couple get upset
that the Delta Psi Beta fraternity
moves in next door in their California college
community and won't shut down the noise despite their
effort to try and be hip and offer neighborly
friendship. The slight plot has the harried couple,
whose life has suddenly changed for the worse, try to
deal with this vexing problem, as they chat up the
muscle-bound frat prez Teddy (Zac Efron)
and the brainy vice prez, Pete (Dave Franco), looking
for solutions. The result is the frat boys act
vengeful when the couple calls the cops after
promising not to and that starts an all-out war,
whereby the frat boys mess with the couple and the
couple fights back by trying to get them evicted.
It's not a good film, by any stretch of the imagination, just a mean-spirited venture that gleefully springs on the viewer a number of shocking lewd jokes about such things as a bromance between frat boy leaders, a dance-off and physiques contest between the obese Rogen and the Adonis-like Efron, the challenge of the couple screwing without hangups when a child is at home, some dreadful Robert De Niro impressions and a lame gag about pumping breast milk. If such gross-out arrested adolescent comedy antics appeal to your undemanding funny bone, then we have a different taste in comedy.
REVIEWED ON 5/9/2014 GRADE: C
Dennis Schwartz: "Ozus' World Movie Reviews"
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