Little Zacky Efron is all grown up in Neighbors! Watching the
movie’s ads, some would say he is this generation’s
Amazingly Shirtless Matthew McConaughey. The torch has been passed.
Seth Rogen and Rose Byrne star as Mac and Kelly – a married
couple and new parents struggling with growing older and the need to
become responsible adults. While they seem to crave their wild and
crazy college years, all of that is about to be tested when the house
next door to theirs is put up for sale.
Because we wouldn’t have a movie without this twist, the house
next door is purchased by a rowdy fraternity led by Teddy (Zac Efron
and his Six Pack Abs) and Pete (Dave Franco). These college boys want
to leave their mark on Frat history, and hope to do something
innovative and memorable in the annals of partying, but Mac and Kelly,
no matter how much they want to prove they are cool, can’t stand
the noise and commotion, which starts a massive war between the two
Will the Frat prevail?
Can Mac and Kelly win peace in the neighborhood?
Neighbors has some funny moments, but
it’s not a great movie. Sure, it’s a good premise, but the
film doesn’t come together narratively as well as it needs to,
nor do the characters develop in a positive way that serves the story
these writers want to tell.
Writers Andrew Cohen and Brendan O’Brien make it hard to
sympathize with any character, which wouldn’t be a problem if
they kept the movie as outrageous as it gets at times. We
wouldn’t have to worry about liking anyone if this was a total,
no holds barred farce, but it’s not.
Cohen, O’Brien and director Nicholas Stoll want to play the
sympathy card, but make it hard to like anyone. Mac and Kelly are the
worst parents ever captured on film as they act as idiotically as the
college kids, and show a great disregard for their own baby’s
well being. Yet, the audience is supposed to assume they have matured
when it matters to the plot, even though we have seen no sign of growth
Then, Cohen and O’Brien should have kept the plot centered on
unending vindictiveness. Two or three times during Neighbors,
it seems like the war between the Frat and the adults has been
resolved, but director Stoller looked at his watch and realized they
still have to fill another hour in the movie, so we have to restart the
war again for no good reason other than lengthening the movie. It
leaves Neighbors to be more a series of gags instead of well
You will laugh at many of the antics in Neighbors, but telling
the story should be just as important.
Neighbors is rated R for pervasive language,
strong crude and sexual content, graphic nudity, and drug use