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'Neighbors' Shows Humor When Different Generations Collide

by Todd A. Smith

 (Photo Credit: Universal Pictures)

Neighbors from Hell

 ½ 

          We’ve all suffered from the agony of having neighbors from hell.  The noisy neighbors who sleep all day and party all night, or the weird couple who is a little too friendly for your own taste.

          But how do you solve that dilemma?  Getting on your neighbors’ bad side can really make life even more miserable.  Ignoring the problem might be a painful experience too, but it might benefit you in the long run because enemies can sometimes turn into your closest friends.

          Mac (Seth Rogen) and Kelly Radner (Rose Byrne) are the typical young married couple.

          They met in college and had some pretty awesome times with their partying friends, but parenthood and adulthood have made them the lame, old people that they never wanted to become.

          Their definition of fun is spending time with their infant daughter and their attempts at adventure involve having sex in front of their curious baby.

          When they attempt to go out with friends, they fall asleep before they get of the door, missing an epic night of adventure for a good night of rest.

          However, when a college fraternity moves in next door they see an opportunity to have some fun without leaving their daughter too far behind.

          They bribe Teddy (Zac Efron) and Pete (Dave Franco) with marijuana in order to gain acceptance into their monumental frat parties, but when the parties get out of hand the young couple is forced to involve the authorities in their predicament.

          When the police are involved, despite Mac’s promise not to call the authorities, the frat and the family are at war.

          The frat is put on probation by the college’s dean Carol Gladstone (Lisa Kudrow) meaning that one more infraction will result in their suspension and removal from the house.

          Furthermore, if the family decides to move they will lose half of their investment, which is unacceptable because they put their entire life savings into purchasing their new home.

          What ensue are typical behavior from college kids, but behavior usually not seen from full-grown adults.

          Mac floods the frat house and in order to raise enough money to fix the damages, the frat is forced to make sex toys and sell them to the eager coeds from the campus.

          In order to get back at the family, the frat removes all of the airbags from the couple’s automobiles turning everything in their home and office into a rocket launcher.

          The war between the neighbors is hilarious, from Teddy actually thinking his frat invented toga parties and beer pong to the combination to his locked room being 420 (the holiday for marijuana users).

          But “Neighbors” avoids being a run-of-the-mill college film because the characters are extremely relatable.

          Every fraternity has a member like Teddy whose entire existence is based off of the popularity he receives from the fraternity.  He does not take school too seriously and has no earthly idea what he wants to do after college.

          When a college recruiter asks if he is interested in working for AT&T, he responds by asking what does the company do.  Seriously.

          On the contrary, Pete is the ideal frat member.  He has his fun, but only after his schoolwork is done, job interviews are successful and his future is totally mapped out.

          Mac and Kelly represent that couple in their 30s who desperately do not want to get old and wants to still fit in with the crowd.  They are so old that they promote a college party with actual paper flyers and not Instagram, Facebook and Twitter.

          As Gabriel Union would say in “Being Mary Jane,” where they do that at?

          They are dangerously flirting with being those old cats in the club that don’t know any of the new music, but still try to hit the dance floor with dance moves from 15 years ago.

          However, just like all neighbors aren’t good for each other, all films aren’t compatible with all viewers.

          “Neighbors” might be too raunchy for many viewers, even adults, with the sex toys and constant drug use, but it is absolutely hilarious and perfectly casted.

 

REGAL RATINGS

FOUR CROWNS=EXCELLENT

THREE CROWNS=GOOD

TWO CROWNS=AVERAGE

ONE CROWN=POOR

This article was published on Friday 09 May, 2014.
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