The arrival of my 20th high school reunion isn’t the only thing making me feel old these days. Seth Rogen is now playing the role of new responsible Dad instead of the Frat guys that terrorize his nice quiet life in the new R-rated raunchy comedy Neighbors. This time the young nemesis is played by the Adonis, Zac Efron, the head of the Frat house that had moved in next door. At first, the new parents like the idea of being able to recapture their youth next door, but when the party doesn’t stop for days on end – the hijinks and awkward laughs take off in Neighbors.
Neighbors is a family vs. frat revenge comedy that two entirely different sets of demographics will find appealing. The young 30-something parents in the audience will cringe, chuckle and relate to Seth Rogen and Rose Byrne as they turn into crotchety old fogies who just want to get some sleep. The college crowd will also enjoy the fraternities pranks and their Eddie Haskell attitude as they dupe everyone except the Radners into believing they are just nice boys having a little fun. You’ll find reasons to laugh and to side with these warring factions as the one-upmanship gets out of control.
After stumbling in The Lucky One and That Awkward Moment, Zac Efron has finally found a role under Rogen’s tutelage that us pretty boy hating guys can get behind. Efron shows his funny bone and his abs for the ladies as Teddy, but the real scene stealer is Dave Franco as Teddy’s Frat brother, Pete. The younger Franco has really stepped out of his brother’s shadow and proved he is his own man in front of the camera. Some of the best laughs involve Franco with his Robert De Niro impersonation and his stupid human trick with a part of his male anatomy.
Neighbors has some big laughs, including the very first scene of the movie, but suffers from losing its way in third act. This shouldn’t surprise anyone since most comedies run into fatigue problems in the last 30 minutes. Neighbors doesn’t fly the plane directly into the mountain, it just didn’t seem like director Nicholas Stoller knew how to end his film. Even with the stumble at the end, Neighbors has some major funny moments that will make you laugh out loud and be embarrassed because you know you’ve been there before as a new parent or young dumb college kid.
Overall, I give Neighbors 3 out of 4 stars.
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