MOVIE REVIEW: Neighbors

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Neighbors movie trailer
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Neighbors is the new comedy starring Seth Rogen and Zac Efron.  The movie is directed by Nicholas Stoller who is most well-known for directing the comedies Forgetting Sarah Marshall and its sequel, Get Him to the Greek.  Along with Rogen and Efron, the film also stars Rose Byrne, Dave Franco, and Christopher Mintz-Plasse.  The movie is Rated R for pervasive language, strong crude and sexual content, graphic nudity, and drug use throughout; which means this isn’t one to see with your mother.

Mac (Rogen) and Kelly (Byrne) Radner are new parents to a baby girl and have just purchased their first home in a nice neighborhood.   They are both excited to be starting their lives together as responsible adults, but also having a hard time letting going of their partying pasts.  The house next door is up for sale and Mac and Kelly dream of the perfect neighbors; little do they know the house has just been bought by a local college fraternity.  Teddy (Efron), the frat president, is determined to make his mark in frat history by throwing the biggest and best party of all time.  Mac and Kelly decide to introduce themselves to their new neighbors in an effort to set boundaries around loud and late night parties.  The only problem is that Mac and Kelly still love to party.  After a few late nights in a row and numerous attempts to contact Teddy to keep the volume down, Mac decides to call the police.  This causes a huge problem because they promised Teddy that they would never call the police.   What started out as the beginning of a new friendship has now turned into an all-out war.  Mac and Kelly will do whatever it takes to get the frat kicked out of the house, but the frat won’t go down without a fight.

Neighbors falls into the same trap that most all R-rated comedies fall into these days.  I guess we’re supposed to think that getting drunk and/or high and acting like a fool is supposed to be funny, not to mention the hilarity of using over-the-top profanity.  The other common thread, especially in Seth Rogan movies, is the use of male genitalia as the punchline.  I’m not trying to be a prude, but I don’t find any of these things the least bit funny.  Not to mention, they have all been done a million times before.  The issue I’m finding is that I’m in the minority of people that doesn’t find these things funny.  The audience in my screening was laughing throughout the entire movie.  I just don’t get it!  Maybe R-rated comedies aren’t my thing, but I still go in hoping to find some enjoyment.  I really didn’t find any in Neighbors because it doesn’t bring anything new to the table in terms of comedy.  I like Seth Rogan and I think Zac Efron can do comedy, but this just didn’t work for either one of them.  I wouldn’t recommend Neighbors to anyone, but again, I think I’m going to be in the minority.  All I can say is enter at your own risk.

Grade:  D

Neighbors opens in theaters on Friday, May 9.

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