Movie review

Meet the 'Neighbors,' if you dare


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If your age is closer to the combined ages of "Neighbors" actors Seth Rogen (32) and Zac Efron (26), the R-rated comedy may not be aimed at you.

'Neighbors'

Starring: Seth Rogen, Zac Efron, Rose Byrne.

Rating: R for pervasive language, strong crude and sexual content, graphic nudity, and drug use throughout.


After all, Mr. Rogen and Rose Byrne, as his wife, are the "old people" here as Mac and Kelly Radner. He has some sort of ill-defined office job, and she stays home with their infant daughter in their nice suburban house.

The Delta Psi Beta fraternity moves in next door, and their bashes make the toga parties of old seem like quaint ladies teas. They party almost nonstop, which is a problem when baby Stella is trying to sleep yards away.

It's also a problem when little Stella's parents want to be the cool folks who would like the boys to keep the noise down but don't want to appear to be crotchety "Get off my lawn!" boors.

The Radners, therefore, are willing to share some weed and devour mushrooms or booze and pledge to contact frat president Teddy Sanders (Mr. Efron) rather than the police with complaints.

But when repeated calls go unanswered, Mac calls the cops and it's war. The frat brothers torment their neighbors, who scheme to make the house uninhabitable or to get the college dean (Lisa Kudrow) to act. The battle escalates into a party worthy of the 2012 movie "Project X" but without fears of the parents returning home.

"Neighbors," directed by Nicholas Stoller and also starring Dave Franco and Christopher Mintz-Plasse as students, has a few laughs courtesy of pop culture references, as when Mac and Teddy imitate the actor who is Batman to them. The script also incorporates bits about Robert De Niro, Kevin James and the dean's obsession with how misdeeds or crimes will look in headlines.

Themes about being forced to face the future are anemically explored and much of the movie is raunchy and repetitive with jokes about sex, genitals, breast milk, the hazing of a character whose nickname cannot be printed, a drunken party hookup, demented payback and dumb distractions, including one involving Mac's divorced friend (Ike Barinholtz).

"Neighbors" is a summer comedy for college students or for adults who pine for the days before graduation, gainful employment and grass that had to be mowed.


Movie editor Barbara Vancheri: bvancheri@post-gazette.com or 412-263-1632. Read her blog: www.post-gazette.com/madaboutmovies.

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