This weekend, “Neighbors” opened in theatres. It is the latest comedy from Nicolas Stoller, director of “Forgetting Sarah Marshall.”
“Neighbors” stars Seth Rogen and Rose Byrne as Mac and Kelly Radner, a 30-something couple who live in a house with their baby daughter. When the fledgling parents were younger, they used to be hard partiers, and they are finding their adult responsibilities a bit hard to bare. When a fraternity moves in next door, they become concerned with the level of noise it may bring. They meet the frat president, Teddy (played by Zac Efron), and his right-hand man Pete (played by Dave Franco), both of whom turn out to be friendly and understanding. Teddy tells them that if they ever get too noisy, to call him and not call the police. Not surprisingly, such a night happens quite quickly and Teddy is unable to answer the phone. The young couple, somewhat envious of the partiers, but needing to be good parents, call the police. This starts a war between the Radners and the fraternity.
“Neighbors” is a very funny film. It is a lot of fun to watch the Radners try to sabotage the fraternity’s social agenda. There are also a few scenes where we see Mac and Kelly cannot help but have a good time at the parties.
Seth Rogen and Rose Byrne have excellent chemistry and both nail the lead roles. They become obsessed with taking down the fraternity. Zac Efron is also effective as Teddy, who also becomes thoroughly preoccupied. In spite of all of their collective immaturity, they actually demonstrate glimmers of self-awareness in seeing that the young marrieds have not quite made their peace with the restrictions of adulthood, and the fraternity brothers are uncomfortable with reminders of the adult paths that await them. Another fun performance is by Lisa Kudrow, who plays the dean of students. Like deans in many frat movies, she is mainly concerned with what headlines will be good or bad for the college.
For comedy fans who do not mind profanity and sex jokes, “Neighbors” is a good choice.