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home : columnists and contributors : columnists and contributors November 25, 2015

5/14/2014 12:01:00 AM
Movie Review: Neighbors
Cynthia Morse Zumbaugh

If you are a fan of movies like Bridesmaids or The Hangover, I almost guarantee that you will enjoy this movie. If you are a little more crotchety, like me, you might find a lot of it to be a little much. Thankfully, there was always the option of looking at Zac Efron to keep me amused. I do wish someone would explain to me why, in a movie starring Seth Rogen and Zac Efron, you decide to have a nude scene and you choose to use Rogen for the scene?

There were definitely some funny lines; I saw this in a theater with a much younger crowd and they loved it, far more than I did. The concept is that this happily married couple with an adorable daughter (she is best part of the movie, by far) are suddenly jarred by the arrival of a fraternity into the house next door. At first, they try to make nice with the boy; if they are friends, they will be able to just ask them to "keep it down" and all will be great. Yeah, that doesn't work and the war is on.

Seth Rogen and Rose Byrne play the couple; my problem is that I didn't see a whole lot of difference between them and the frat boys. What kind of parents leaves their baby alone in a house next to a bunch of frat boys to go next door and party all night? Apparently carrying a baby monitor made that okay, although I'm sure you wouldn't have been able to hear over the music and by the end of the night, they were both so messed up they wouldn't have been able to do anything for the baby anyway. Okay, that's my rant but it was hard to feel sorry for these people.

If you're going to play the same character over and over, as Rogen is doing, you should try and pick a more likeable character to play; smoking pot is an action, not a basis for all of your characters. John Belushi did a movie of this same name and a very similar plot a little over three decades ago and he did a much better job.

Efron actually pulls off some pretty decent lines, but the only character that I really liked at all was Dave Franco's Pete. He was part of the fraternity, but he realized that it wasn't the end all and be all of his life; his character actually seemed to mature during the movie, which wasn't true for any of the others. This movie will make a lot of money and its fans of this genre (drunken, stoned behavior) will love it.

Rated R; believe it. Sex, nudity, lots of profanity and drug use, this is not a movie for younger children.

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