Bad Neighbours – You’ll laugh, but you should know better



Bad Neighbours
Point Grey Pictures, Good Universe, US
96 Mins
UK Release: 3rd May 2014

Director Nicholas Stoller
Producer Evan Goldberg, James Weaver, Seth Rogen
Screenwriter Andrew J. Cohen, Brendan O’Brien
Cinematographer Brandon Trost
Cast Seth Rogen, Zac Efron, Rose Byrne

The formulaic frat-house comedy is never short of raucous laughs and boisterous proceedings. Bad Neighbours delivers, even if it does get a little desperate at times. I am talking about such times as selling your very own articulated dildos and making a heady profit of approx. $10,000 in order to pay the plumbers. Bountiful references to movie stars and other popular culture icons keep the comedy on its toes; Dave Franco’s impression of Robert de Niro in Meet the Parents is particularly impressive and rejoicing.

Mac (Seth Rogen) and Kelly (Rose Byrne) are the munificent and rather outlandish new couple in the neighbourhood. Their young baby provides most of their fun and games however, the opening scene of which split me between hysterical laughter and nonsensical repugnance. They clearly live in a land of capricious love and laughter, though it is nonetheless refreshing to see them get along even in the toughest of times. The toughest of times being induced by the new neighbours, the new fraternity on the block. Still in connection with their younger and evidently more hipster outlook on life, the couple approaches the frat house in a laid-back oeuvre that lasts the night but soon lands home with a thud. Things get a little more serious and an all-out war is waged between the neighbouring parties.

You will want to rollover in your seat at the clamorous images and farcical plots being constructed, but come a few moments later and you won’t be able to help deflecting with rollicking laughter. And the ladies certainly won’t be able to hold back their coquettish looks over Zac Efron’s brimming torso, which Mac later describes as something formed like a sharp arrow leading to his “dick” (to paraphrase). Teddy (Zac) is the president of the fraternity and a rather solemn guy for such a position. This lends itself toward Teddy’s multipart friendship with the couple next door, creating a mix of generational morality and almost providing an earnest reflection on summoning adulthood. Nonetheless, Teddy and Mac provide a yin-yang of entertainment. Kelly, is the passive aggressive wife and doesn’t bring much improvisation to the role other than her occasional charm. Every mark is a safe reign within Stoller’s trundle of comedy.

The film doesn’t rock the boat and it certainly won’t wet the decks, but it will steer a steady course with ample laughs for the core viewer along the way.

3/5 stars

Watch the trailer below:


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