Starring: Seth Rogen, Rose Byrne, Zac Efron, Dave Franco, Christopher Mintz-Plasse, Ike Barinholtz, Carla Gallo, Lisa Kudrow.
Rated: R. Comedy. Running Time: 1 hour 36 minutes.
Having watched This Is The End over and over in recent months, it’s on HBO like everyday, I was pretty psyched to see Neighbors. This scenario quite often doesn’t work out for me too well, high expectations, and unfortunately that was the case this time too. Mac (Rogen) and Kelly (Byrne) are a young suburban couple with a new baby, and it’s pretty apparent early, that they are not the greatest parents. When a fraternity moves in next door led by Teddy (Efron) and Pete (Franco), they get worried about what may transpire, i.e. partying and noise. The problem is, they are clearly frustrated by their lives being stifled by being parents and they LOVE to party. They go over to “welcome” the guys with the ulterior motive of asking them to keep the noise down, and end up staying all night doing drugs and shots, leaving their infant next door at home. They did have a baby monitor, but I’m pretty sure social services wouldn’t be crazy with this practice. The next night it’s more of the same at the frat, but now they need them to be quiet, so they call the cops. The rest of the movie the two sides are at “war”, and there are some chuckles, but the best ones were already shown in the trailers. I believe the more they show you in commercials, the weaker the movie is, and that should have been a tipoff. The air bags absolutely should not have been revealed, still funny, but would’ve been off the charts without prior knowledge. These Neighbors have a lot of problems, and the movie does too.
I expect too much. Just because someone strikes gold once does not mean that everything they do is going to be superb. That being said…I can’t help being disappointed. Just as I was disappointed with Anchorman 2. And The Internship. And The Hangover 3. I am guilty of assuming that because a certain person or group of people that I find hilarious have chosen to participate in a project that it will knock my socks off. But you put Byrne, who flawlessly executed super sweet bitch Helen in Bridesmaids and Seth Rogen, a man that makes me laugh when he plays himself – which is pretty much every role, and well, I am going to have high expectations. As Ross said, they showed way too much in the trailers. And somewhere along the line, they just missed the mark. The humor was extremely crude, which I usually love. But the majority of these jokes lacked the cleverness that balance out the perverse nature. There were several laughs that make this one worth watching, but the best advice I can provide is to rent it out of the RedBox. Or wait until it’s On Demand.
There was a cool cameo from our boys from Workaholics (now there’s a show! catch it on Comedy Central), Blake, Adam and Ders; much too brief though. Andy Samberg’s mug shows up for a second or two as well. I have to be honest, director Nicholas Stoller and I just aren’t on the same page. This is his fourth movie, I’ve seen them all, and I have nearly the same opinion of every one: not bad, not good, some laughs but not enough, wait for video. Forgetting Sarah Marshall, Get Him To The Greek, The Five Year Engagement, Neighbors; all ordinary and forgettable. One final note on the human race, what looked to be a grandmother escorted two boys ages around twelve into the movie then left them there. Are you kidding me?! The first scene Rogen and Byrne are screwing and it doesn’t get much milder from there. Just not sure what people are thinking. We took Ethan to Universal on Friday and the shit the girls were wearing at 12 and younger is fucking unbelievable! Common sense seems to have left parenting for the most part. Trust me, I’m the furthest thing from a prude that there is, but children are no longer being allowed to have a childhood. Don’t let them dress like tramps; let them play Sonic and Mario and NOT Call of Duty. And don’t dump them at R rated movies! Sorry about that, but I have a 10 year old son, and it infuriates me when I see this kind of stuff. Neighbors is okay. If you have to see it, go. If you’re on the fence, pass and don’t give it another thought.
I agree with Ross’ assessment of the human race. However, when it comes to Mr. Stoller’s resume, our opinions differ. I loved Get Him To The Greek. And I was a fan of Forgetting Sarah Marshall as well. So, it seemed only natural that I would take to Neighbors. But I didn’t. It had its moments. But in its entirety – it was quite disappointing. Back to that human race assessment…I am still in disbelief that someone would be naïve enough to drop two kids of that age at this movie. Another primo example of the lack of social awareness on this planet. Not only is it a shameful act, but it kind of impeded our enjoyment. Every time something perverse graced the screen, Ross and I were concerned about those two kids. Parenting has reached a new low.
Ross’ Rating: 2.75 Gummy Bears out of 5.
Maria’s Rating: 2.5 Gummies.