A generational feud is at the center of the new Universal Pictures comedy, Neighbors, starring Seth Rogen (Knocked Up, This is the End), Zac Efron (The Lucky One) and an exceptionally hilarious Rose Byrne (Bridesmaids). The film, directed by the talented Nicholas Stoller (Forgetting Sarah Marshall, Five-Year Engagement), proves once again that he is more than capable of making a successful studio comedy that balances both heart and laughter equally.
The film introduces the two leads, Rogen and Byrne, with a hilarious sequence where the couple tries to reignite their sexual chemistry on a dining room chair, while trying to overt their baby daughter’s eyes. If this scene sets the tone for the rest of the film (which it does) then I’m all in. Neighbors really gets the party started when a U-Haul full of Delta Psi fraternity members unloads at the vacant house next door. This leads to a battle between the fraternity members and their middle-aged neighbors.
As a member of a fraternity myself, it would be a lie to say that the films depiction of fraternity life is absurd at completely inaccurate. Neighbors has one of the most accurate and spot on depictions of fraternity life shown on film. From the over the top themed parties, to the desire for each party to be even more epic than the last, Neighbors hits almost every note but adds its own exaggeration, making it relatable for those in Greek life as well as making it perfect for a comedic setting. The rave scene at Delta Psi in particular was a high point in the film, not only for the comedic moments, but also for the extremely stylized look of the scene that was reminiscent of party scenes in last years Spring Breakers.
The strongest aspect of the film was Rose Byrne. Her performance was by far the best and funniest in the film and anytime she was on the screen the audience burst into laughter. Seth Rogen and Rose Byrne had incredible chemistry that made me want to watch a rom-com about how their two characters met.
As a whole Neighbors is one of the funniest films to be released over the past couple years with balls to the wall absurdity from beginning to end and strong performances from its entire cast. What makes it stand out is that at its core it is about our desire to keep our lives carefree and exciting even once we are thrown into adulthood and the many responsibilities that come with it. It also touches on the younger generations fear of become bland and boring once they are forced to grow up. Neighbors is a ridiculous comedy with heart, which makes it a film that could be watched on more than once occasion.