Imagine that you’re in college and you’re enjoying one of your infamous parties at your fraternity’s house, with music booming from giant speakers and girls chugging down jungle juice like it’s Gatorade. All of a sudden you hear this loud banging on the door, and the president of your frat answers it reluctantly to face a police officer, who tells you that they received a noise complaint against you. I wanted to see this new movie Neighbors because I was in a fraternity and I can relate to that scenario. I was the house steward at the time we had the cops called on us, so I know how it feels to live next door to neighbors who can’t deal with the chaos. One of the reasons I enjoyed the film is because it allowed me to reminisce about the fun I had in college, even the times that were a pain in the ass.
Seth Rogen and Zac Efron headline the flick as family man Mac and fraternity president Teddy, respectively, who clash when Teddy’s Delta Psi Beta moves in next door to Mac and his wife Kelly and their baby Stella. Although the new neighbors are friendly at first, Teddy and his frat continue to party hard and loud, keeping their daughter awake and causing Mac to go against his word when he calls the police on them. With their new neighbors now enraged by Mac’s betrayal, and the war officially in full effect, the opposing sides attack each other in ways that become increasingly insane as they try to mark their territory and force each other out of the neighborhood.
Many of the pranks they pulled on each other were highly original and creative, and although they were quite far-fetched and almost cartoonish during some parts, the hilarity that resulted from the escapades made the fact that they were over-the-top easy to overlook. There was a great mix of pop culture references both from the past as well as the present, which served as a great way to differentiate between the two generations of the family and frat, the foes who were facing off.
Rogen and Efron may have initially seemed like an unlikely combo of comedy costars, but their opposite personalities are what actually make the movie work, along with the clever script. Seth is his usual goofy yet likeable self, and it was refreshing to see him play the more mature character in a film for once. Although I have never seen any other movie with Zac in it, he did a great job as the ripped and cocky fraternity leader, proving that Disney alum can have talent too. Rose Byrne has some really funny moments in her role as Kelly. Dave Franco, who plays Pete, Delta Psi’s vice president and Teddy’s best friend, stands out as well, especially when he does a spot-on impression of a certain legendary actor. Some people may not know that he’s James Franco’s brother, but there’s no reason for anyone to know because he is going to have a great career without any of his brother’s help.
The nonstop shenanigans will have you cracking up like crazy for the wildest 90 minutes you’ll experience so far this year. It totally lived up to the hype it received, and it deserved to top the box office charts during its opening weekend with 51 million dollars. Whether you were in a frat or not, have a kid or not, do yourself a favor and check it out.