Film Review: NEIGHBORS

NEIGHBORS

Directed by Nicholas Stoller

Written by Andrew J. Cohen and Brendan O’Brien

Starring: Seth Rogen, Rose Byrne, Zac Efron, Ike Barinholtz, Dave Franco

 

Last week I had the experiences of liking a movie I expected to dislike and hating a movie I expect to enjoy. This was the one I was surprised to like. I had to drag my husband along because comedies about men refusing to grow up have become his least favorite genre. And this is that kind of movie, but it handles its themes in surprising ways and great writing makes the medicine go down. The acting is fine too.

Rogen and Bryne play a couple with a young baby that buys their dream home on a lovely street in a college town. Before they can crack open the Huggies, the house next door is snatched up by a fraternity on probation. The frat president (Efron) seems congenial and aware of the fact that too much noise might ruin their chances of coming off probation. He is also (surprisingly) a decent fellow.

Of course, things get out of hand almost immediately because both households have some issues to deal with. The movie spends time on spelling this out, in writing dialog between Rogen and Byrne that seems spot on, on showing each character in good and bad moments, in making this a more complex and funny movie that it had to. Recommended.

Patti Abbott