For all it promised, @NeighborsMovie delivers and THEN some
Let me start by saying that everything about Neighbors was on-point. It was everything I expected. Plus some. From the witty and obviously R-rated risqué dialogue to the epic party scenes, I felt like I was watching a better version of the past couple of Judd Apatow comedies (Remember the sadness that was This is 40?) – and I love Judd’s films. Think the craziness of Van Wilder, except crossed with what SHOULD have been the party scenes from Great Gatsby.
The film itself takes the viewer on a journey of self-discovery. Many times people get thrust into situations they can’t fully comprehend and always wonder if they made the right decision – It’s all the identity crisis. I think the writer and producers were trying to hint at that internal struggle: getting old and wondering if you’re truly missing out on the world around you, if you really chose the best path. And the fact of the matter is that they portrayed and executed that conflict so well. In the end, everyone does grow up, but it’s all about being happy with the choices you make.
So let’s state the obvious: casting should get a round of applause for the perfection they chose to have on film. Each cast member fit perfectly into the story and there was never a moment when I thought to myself, “It would have been better if they had chosen someone else for the part.” I was particularly surprised by how well Seth Rogen and Zac Efron worked together. Zac showed us that he is more than just a pretty face that can carry a tune and look good shirtless (High School Musical and That Awkward Moment, respectively). When it comes to the other cast members, Rose Byrne has proven herself time and time again as having such amazing comedic timing. And I’ve always loved Seth. Even when he’s high as a kite (which is pretty much any in his canon). And of course, Zac and Dave Franco played frat brothers really well. It does help that they appear to be the appropriate age to do so, adding to the overall credibility of the story. But again, between their bromance on-screen and the ease at which they slipped into the roles, I was blown away at how great their chemistry was. The casting was definitely on-point.
In terms of the storyline, it teetered on the fine line of fantasy and reality, but always found a way to present itself as a relatively believable situation. While I would never be caught participating in any of those shenanigans, I can see college students raging the night away in a similar fashion. And the storyline with Rose and Seth trying to hold onto their youth… It’s the perfect archetype for the frat. I mean, the frat represents everything they missed about being young: the crazy sex, parties, staying up late, not having responsibilities. When the biggest care you had was making sure you had enough alcohol in your hand.
I’ll bring it back to what really matters: did they photoshop Zac Efron’s body in this film? Like what the hell man. His body is sick. And every girl (and even a lot of guys) were cheering and giving him credit during his shirtless scenes. I mean, the movie is pretty much worth watching just for that (and the countless other eye-candy moments – remember, everyone is supposed to be in college). But the bonus is that it’s actually a really good film. And the pranks, a staple of any college film, are out-of-this-world. And not just those shown in the trailer; there are too many golden moments from this film. Side note: there is a lot of risqué content. Not necessarily the best thing to watch with your mother. And there are things that you can’t unsee. Ever
Overall, the film will have you screaming “Hootie-Hoo” to alert all of your bros of the epicness on-screen (film reference, and in-film call-out to OutKast and Missy Elliott who popularized the phrase). Definitely worth the 10 dollar ticket price.
I’ll leave you with the very NSFW trailer:
Neighbors, directed by Nicholas Stoller