Although not written by Seth Rogen and his friends, there’s definitely a standard Seth Rogen feel to Neighbors. There’s pot, alcohol, sex, penises, F-bombs galore and plenty of improvised comedic dialog. But unlike Rogen’s male-based movies to date, Neighbors brings two other achievements to the table: the ability to add a little message to the movie and the ability to appeal to more than just males with its content.
In Neighbors, Rogen and Rose Byrne (Bridesmaids) play a younger(er) married couple with a baby girl who just moved into their first home. Everything is happy in their world until the house next door is sold to one of the local university’s fraternities. Lead by Zac Efron, who has completely broken away from his song-and-dance High School Musical persona, and Dave Franco, the fantastic younger brother of James Franco, the frat guys immediately make friends with their new neighbors – but when they feel betrayed, it sparks a war between the two houses. Efron and Franco begin a series of brutal pranks while Rogen and Byrne do everything they can to get the frat booted from the university.
The worry with comedies like this is that the bulk of the great jokes and bits are contained in the movie’s trailer. Yes, the trailer features a good chunk of the gags, but the great dialog is saved for the moviegoing experience. There’s no reason to worry that you won’t have anything to laugh at that you haven’t already seen and heard. Like the rest of Rogen’s movies, there are loads of laughs to be found in the smallest sections of banter.
But be warned: Neighbors is probably the most crude and vulgar comedy to open since Rogen’s last great outing, This is the End. Male and female nudity, anatomically correct sex toys, random sex acts and nasty dialog is abundant. Know that if you decide to wait for a TV- or airplane-friendly edited cut, you’re going to lose a large amount of the jokes that make Neighbors the worthy comedy that it is.
(Photo credit: Universal Studios)