Neighbors is about a married couple, played by Seth Rogen and Rose Byrne, who have a baby and movie into a new house in a nice quiet suburban neighborhood. However, they soon have to deal with new neighbors that move in across the street, which just so happens to be a frat called Delta Psi, known infamously for their insane parties. At first Seth Rogen and Rose Byrne go over to make sure that they won't be too loud at night, because they want their baby to sleep, but eventually things get too out of control for both of them, leading to an epic war with the frat house's president Teddy, played by Zac Efron, to get the frat to finally leave the neighborhood.
This movie boils down to a giant prank war between the two parties, and its quite satisfying to watch as well. Each side has a whole array of various tricks and schemes that they inflict on each other, like using airbags, destroying water pipes, synthetic dildos, and even fireworks. Of course we're always on the side of the people who want their baby to sleep, but both sides use horrible tricks and pranks to accomplish what they need to and it makes everyone look ridiculous, but in a good way. You kind of have to laugh when a person sits down in a chair and an airbag shoots them straight into the sky.
|"It's like if a gay man designed him in a lab!"|
Speaking of having a point, there's a really good emotional core to this movie as well that has you sympathize with both sides. Of course we can sympathize with Seth Rogen and Rose Byrne wanting their baby to sleep and having a happy family, but Teddy also turns into a sympathetic villain at the same time. He's a man who lives in the moment, for better or worse, and fears that eventually he'll become old like Seth Rogen and no longer have his charm and appeal, which is all he has going for him. Zac Efron, whether you like him or not, is a good actor and does a really good job in this movie. In fact, I would say that we can finally stop associating him with the abysmal High School Musical movies and the teenage dream idea into a cool, if not unpolished actor. We'll probably be seeing a lot more of him in the coming years, so you better get used to it.
You wanna know what else is refreshing about this movie? It's short. We live in an age where the average movie now is about two hours long give or take, whether the movie needs those two hours or not. I may have like The Amazing Spider-Man 2, but I certainly don't feel it needed to be over two hours long. It's nice to have a modest movie with a modest size, modest cast, and just be modest in its production overall. It knows what to focus on and what to do and doesn't try to complicate the formula. In the beginning, there's a scene with Seth Rogen's boss who looks like he's going to be a boss that wants to get really involved in Seth Rogen's life outside of work and be his friend, despite being the definition of an old guy trying to be cool. But the movie never goes down that route and we only see his character twice in the whole movie. The movie focuses on what it needs to focus on and trims the fat.
|Yay for raves!|
Neighbors isn't going to redefine the comedy, but it takes the solid foundation of movies like American Pie and essentially every Seth Rogen movie ever into a nice hybrid. If I could equate Neighbors to a sandwich, it would be a turkey grilled cheese sandwich. It's gooey and delicious, if not a bit simple, but it's a grilled cheese sandwich, you know what you were going to get anyway. It doesn't try to be anything ore than a grilled cheese sandwich, but you're thankful that you were able to get something nice and simple for lunch. That's why I give Neighbors, for its humor, well acted performances, and nice emotional core, and solid 4 out of 5 stars.