Friday, May 9, 2014

Neighbors


Is it too much to ask for Hollywood to put out a comedy that isn't stupid, isn't rolled out by the assembly line, and that actually makes me laugh?  Maybe I'm asking for too much.  Or perhaps I'm too tough a crowd when it comes to comedies.  But aside from a few dramedies at the TriBeCa Film Festival I don't think I've laughed once during any "comedy" released this year.

Seth Rogen and Rose Byrne play maturing adults who are married, have a baby, and just bought and moved into their dream house.  But when a fraternity, headed by Zac Efron and Dave Franco, moves in next door, they are conflicted between being cool and clinging to their youth or just trying to get them to keep it down.

While it's alright, I have several problems with this movie:
  1. Seth Rogen generally walks the line between being funny and being annoying.  He's kind of on the annoying side here, I think.
  2. While I acknowledge they are eye-candy for the ladies, Zac Efron and Dave Franco are annoying.  Always.  They just are.  (Sorry ladies, I know you're blinded by their abs and boyish good looks.)
  3. I love Rose Byrne.  She's great eye candy for the men, and she's also proven herself a great actresss in dramas ('Damages'), horror ('Insidious'), and comedies ('Bridesmaids').  But here, using her native Australian accent for once, she is trying her darndest to be the female equivalent of Seth Rogen.  But she's sooo not the female equivalent of Seth Rogen.  It just feels forced.  And while we're on the subject ...
  4. There's just no way I can suspend my disbelief enough to buy that Byrne would ever be married to Rogen.  Puh-lease.  They should have cast someone more believable in the role.  But in Hollywood the list of bankable female comedy stars is short, and mostly made up of women too attractive to be married to Rogen.  (Of course this didn't hurt 'Knocked Up'.)
Don't be fooled by the tag line, "From the Guys Who Brought You 'This is the End'."  'Neighbors' is not nearly as funny or creative.  It's just fair.

Grade: C+

Who is this movie for?  People who like stale comedy.  Edgy, this is not.

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