Press-Republican

Out & About

May 15, 2014

'Neighbors' has its share of stupid, but also funny

“Neighbors” isn’t just another stupid frat house comedy.

Oh, sure, there is definitely a lot of stupid in it, but it’s not just stupid.

The perfect movie for anyone who has ever wanted to see popular man-slob Seth Rogen face off against teen heartthrob Zac Efron, “Neighbors” is raunchy, outlandish and free-flowing — that means there’s not much of a story, just a string of connected sketches.

It’s also very funny, joining the list of best frat comedies, alongside old school classics like “Animal House” and “Revenge of the Nerds.”

Rogen and Rose Byrne star as 30-some-thing married couple Mac and Kelly Radner. They’ve just had a cute baby and purchased a house they can’t really afford, and they’re beginning to realize that they’re not quite young anymore.

That’s when the raucous Delta Psi Beta fraternity moves next door and threatens to turn their world upside-down.

At first, the couple tries to play nice — they make a peace offering, attend a party and bond with the college kids. When the late-night noise becomes too much, however, the Radners call the police and things quickly escalate out of control.

Rogen is the same slovenly everyman that we’ve come to expect, and he keeps the jokes coming at a fast pace. Byrne is the pleasant surprise, more than holding up her share of the humor in a comedy breakout performance.

Even more of a surprise is Efron, who is pitch-perfect as the personable and buff frat president, Teddy. Rather than go for the one-note evil or cartoonish frat leader stereotype, “Neighbors” gives Teddy a little depth and character, making him a perfect foil for Rogen.

Dave Franco is also a plus as the fraternity’s vice president, half of a convincing bromance with Efron. Lisa Kudrow has a small but amusing part as the college’s ineffectual dean.

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