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Neighbors (A Movie Review)

Updated: Aug 15, 2022



Starring Zac Efron, Seth Rogen, Rose Byrne, Dave Franco, Ike Barinholtz, Carla Gallo, Christopher Mintz-Plasse, Jerrod Carmichael, Craig Roberts, Lisa Kudrow, Elise Vargas, Zoey Vargas, Jake Johnson, Halston Sage, Jerrod Carmichael, Craig Roberts, Ali Cobrin, Kira Sternbach, Jason Mantzoukas, Liz Cackowski, Akiva Schaffer, Jorma Taccone and Andy Samberg.

Screenplay by Andrew Jay Cohen and Brendan O'Brien.

Directed by Nicholas Stoller.

Distributed by Universal Pictures. 97 minutes. Rated R.

Going to a movie about a college fraternity is interesting for a few reasons. You aren’t expecting the movie to be of any substance. You expect a lot of partying and prepare for outrageous gags.

This movie shouldn’t have been any different, just a crazy comedy complete with crude jokes and trashy humor. Imagine my surprise when Neighbors proved this assumption wrong.

Well, on some levels.

While it still was hilariously raunchy and outrageous, Neighbors actually had a decent plot. After all, you can’t become “This Summer’s #1 Comedy” without a story.

Neighbors is about two young parents who are trying to get their lives together as they raise a baby. They’ve bought a new house. Everything seems to be going well in life. Then, a fraternity moves in next door.

What ensues is a crazy montage of parties, pranks and – best of all – adorable baby moments. (Because what is a frat movie without a baby, right?) Baby Stella (played by twins Elise and Zoey Vargas) never fails to crack a smile or laugh, and she is just so cute. Even with all the crazy things happening around her, she still manages to look like a little model.

Speaking of models, one of the best parts of this movie was the casting. It was eye candy galore. Shirtless hunks and pretty girls graced the screen, from Zac Efron and Dave Franco to Halston Sage and Rose Byrne. Could it get any better?

Of course, looks weren’t the only success in casting. Everyone in the movie brought their comedic A game. Ike Barinholtz (you may know him as Morgan from The Mindy Project) stood out as Mac Radner’s (Seth Rogen) best friend, carousing and practical joking with the best of them. Some of Barinholtz’s funniest material came from his impressive improv skills.

Seth Rogen and Rose Byrne were also comedic gold, making a surprisingly believable couple. (Despite what one may think about their disparity, looks-wise). The film revisits some familiar faces and introduces us to some newer ones. Everyone in the movie seemed to have great chemistry.

Another great thing about this movie was its level of detail in the depiction of the “Delta Psi” fraternity. Although I can’t speak from experience, I would imagine that the fraternity life was exaggerated. (At least I’d hope so!) However, the film was able to showcase a sense of brotherhood despite taking those liberties.

Little things that made up the fraternity: parties, the frat’s history, and particularly the way that the members were all well thought out as characters. Each one was hilariously immature and seemed typical of what a group of guys in this situation would come up with.

Neighbors is a comedy with a story, one that provided a little insight into college life and the challenging life of modern parenting. The cast is incredibly talented and overall. It’s one of the best movies of the summer. You should make it a point to see it.

Ally Abramson

Copyright ©2014 All rights reserved. Posted: May 30, 2014.

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