Friday, May 9 2014, 03:24 PM MDT
Movie Review: Neighbors
3.5 out of 5 Stars
Director: Nicholas Stoller
Starring: Seth Rogen, Rose Byrne, Zac Efron
Recommended To: Fans of Seth Rogen's pot jokes, those who adore Rose Byrne or Zac Efron and R-rated comedy enthusiasts.
Synopsis: Mac (Seth Rogen) and Kelly Radner (Rose Byrne) are finding it difficult to adjust to life as new parents, but when a fraternity moves in next door the couple are forced to extremes to try and return to the quiet and seemingly boring life they never thought they wanted.
Review: Buried deep beneath Neighbors' pot jokes, four-lettered expletives and bawdy humor is a story about growing up and accepting (or rejecting) responsibility. It's the sort of message that director Nicholas Stoller has been sneaking into his films (The Five-Year Engagement, Forgetting Sarah Marshall) and it's what allows the film to be more than a pointless dirge like 21 & Over, Hangover II and the lesser American Pie movies were. Sadly the debauchery is far easier to see and will likely distract most audience members, particularly those that are in their early twenties and have yet to consider settling down, from the underlining themes and subtext that Andrew J. Cohen and Brendan O'Brien have written into the script. Which is a shame because Rose Byrne, Zac Efron and to a lesser extent Seth Rogen and Dave Franco bring a surprising amount of depth to characters that typically wouldn't offer any sort of insight into life.
I don't want to oversell Neighbors. I've never cared much for Seth Rogen's shtick and for as witty as the dialogue can be the jokes that fall flat vastly outnumber those that connect. Still, if you enjoy R-rated humor and are looking to just be entertained for 90 minutes Neighbors is an above-average attraction.
-Ryan Michael Painter