The Neighbors

The Neighbors

The Neighbors starring Seth Rogen, Zac Efron and Rose Byrne

We have to grow up sometime. Even Seth Rogen, who stars in this comedy about a 30-something couple with a baby who come to the realization they are getting old when a fraternity moves in next door.

Rogen’s Mac and his wife Kelly (Rose Byrne) make attempts to continue the lifestyle they were used to that included partying, drinking and drugs, but with the arrival of their newborn Stella, they are forced to pull it back, cancelling plans with friends and spend the night in.

The Delta Psi fraternity moves in next door, led by Teddy (Zac Efron), which threatens Mac and Kelly’s sense of security but also their youthful self-image. When telling them to “keep it down”, they decide to level with Teddy and the frat-house by attempting to appear cool and hip, but when a promise is broken, the battle begins.

Rogen once again sticks with playing the same character he usually does, while Byrne steps out of her norm. At first she seems ill-fitted as Kelly, as if the role is below her, but still she quickly shows she can own it by presenting a character that is on the same level of maturity as Mac and thus, fitting for this movie. Both are willing to get down and dirty but they also care about making a home for their daughter.

Efron clearly has fun with his role, not taking himself seriously and letting the script play at his expense. Before meeting, Mac describes Teddy as “something a gay guy designed in a laboratory.” Despite his pretty boy looks, Efron is a believable frat-leader, and makes getting revenge fun to watch.

None of the roles seem particularly intelligent yet the movie isn’t completely mindless. In between the drugs and nudity, there are funny gags – though sometimes cheap as if they’re really gunning for that R-rating – and there’s heart between Mac and Kelly, and among the frat boys.

The Neighbors is no doubt a funny movie. It might be a bit crude for those looking for wholesome and a bit light for those hoping for completely off-the-wall, but it provides plenty of satisfying hilarious moments – even if most of them are forgotten by the morning after.
Three stars

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