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Film Review: 'Neighbors'

Kathy Zerbib |
May 7, 2014 | 4:17 p.m. PDT

Senior Entertainment Editor

Meet the neighbors from Hell (Universal Pictures).
Meet the neighbors from Hell (Universal Pictures).
"Neighbors" has all the elements a comedy movie needs to succeed: Legitimately funny jokes, Seth Rogen, awkward nudity, people acting ridiculously on drugs, uncomfortable fight scenes and Zac Efron shirtless. 

Not-so-shockingly, "Neighbors" turned out to be a considerably hilarious movie.

Seth Rogen and Rose Byrne play Mac and Kelly Radner, a married couple with a newborn baby. As part of their transition to the family life, they move into a new house.  

Unfortunately, the fraternity that moves in next door turns out to be a huge inconvenience to the couple's absurdly adorable baby Stella and their own sleep patterns.

Zac Efron and Dave Franco are President and Vice President of Delta Psi. Efron plays Teddy Sanders, an all-brawn, no-brains type who lives and breathes the frat life. Franco plays Pete, a good student who just happens to party on the side.

READ MORE: Zac Efron Punched In Downtown LA

It doesn't take long for the young couple and the even younger frat brothers to start bumping heads. Pretty soon, a war ensues in the neighborhood.

What makes "Neighbors" so hilarious is its star-studded cast. Rogen, Efron, and Franco act alongside Ike Barinholtz ("MADtv"), Christopher Mintz-Plasse ("Superbad," "Kick-Ass") and Jerrod Carmichael. Many comedic minds came together to produce this comedic genius.

READ MORE: 9 Things You Probably Didn't Know About The Cast Of 'Neighbors'

But "Neighbors" isn't an absolute triumph from start to finish. 

No, "Neighbors" had a weird start. As in, "having sex with your baby watching" weird. Byrne, right off the bat, comes across awkward and seems to be overacting her role. We warm up to her eventually, but that strange beginning isn't soon forgotten.

As the movie progresses, we're treated to insane antics and enjoyable plot twists. This isn't a movie that'll win an Academy Award, but we're enjoying every minute of it.

Interestingly enough, "Neighbors" does get deep at some points. 

On the one hand, Teddy Sanders suffers from Peter Pan Syndrome and we can sympathize. He fears adult life after college, especially seeing how bland his future could be if he "ended up" like the Radners.

On the other hand, the Radners - particularly Mac - are desperate to reclaim their youth. Formerly college partygoers in their own sense, this couple is still vying for a fun rager. We share their resistance against the norms of adulthood. Rogen's tendency to emphasize every emotion on-screen when he's distressed proves not to be a problem, i.e. milking his wife Kelly. If anything, it adds to the hilarity.

This is a movie for all ages (Or, rather, all ages that are allowed to appreciate R-rated movies). The characters are lovable, the jokes are consistent and the college life is believable. "Neighbors" fulfills its potential and we wouldn't have it any other way. 

This party lives on in our hearts well after the movie's over.

Watch all the fun in the "Neighbors" trailer below.

Reach Senior Entertainment Editor Kathy Zerbib here. Follow her on Twitter here.



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