So Bad Neighbours, know as Neighbors in America, was a film I was quite excited for when I first saw the trailer. I’ve always enjoyed Seth Rogen’s work and it turned out to be a regular Seth Rogen comedy in which he battles his Frat House neighbours. Interestingly, it was the same team that made This Is The End, which I thought was excellent and was my favourite comedy of last year.
Bad Neighbours I found, in the United Kingdom at least, was one of the best cases of a film leaving out majority of the clips shown in the trailer, which is good and bad. Although unfortunately for me, I was watching kind of waiting for certain scenes. But good in the sense I saw totally new material. Regardless, I still enjoyed the film and found the comedy to be surprising in some cases.
I’ve always enjoyed Seth Rogen comedies, especially him and Evan Goldberg’s collaborations. What I was surprised in was the casting of Zac Efron as the secondary lead. However, the cast did include Dave Franco, Christopher Mintz-Plasse and Rose Byrne, which have a repertoire of being cast in comedies, so from the trailers and the casting, it was set to be non-stop comedy film.
As the story goes, a married couple Mac and Kelly Radner (Seth Rogen and Rose Byrne) have just had a child and they are finding it difficult to reconnect in general. Their first scene is them trying to be spontaneous and have sex but can’t as the baby keeps watching. The Delta Psi fraternity move in next door, with their leaders Teddy (Zac Efron) and Pete (Dave Franco) leading the charge of their ‘brothers’. Worried about the noise, the Radner’s tell them to keep it down, in a wonderfully awkward and cringeworthy fashion after having a lengthy discussion about how to go about it.
Teddy obliges and insists they call them before they call the cops, a party then ensues in which the Radner’s participate. The following night another party ensues (It’s a frat house, what do you expect?) and after Teddy doesn’t answer his phone, they call the cops. This results in rest of the film becoming a battle between the Radner’s and the frat house. The Radner’s trying to use them being college students against them and the frat house trying to drive them insane with the parties and mess that clutters the lawns.
As expected, majority of the comedy does occur in this film post-cop calling scene, with a mixture coming from the slapstick nature and the dialogue-based humour that (I’d say) dominated This Is The End. It’s a wonderful combination and works to great extent and keeps the laughter flowing.
Naturally the story is built purely for the comedy surrounding the film, but personally I found the story to be quite enjoyable, with the two separate lives that the neighbours lead. Teddy, failing at college, wants to become a legend in Delta Psi fraternity and place his name on the board. In which they show the Delta Psi fraternity first drinking beer and creating beer pong, featuring the likes of The Lonely Island and trio from Workaholics. The Radner’s, on the other hand, become increasingly alienated from their friends and are trying to find ways to reconnect, including the questioning of taking the baby to a rave.
“You called the cops. You violated the circle of trust, Focker.”
The casting is excellent as well, I found Efron to be quiet a surprising person cast in this comedy, and his continual battle with Seth Rogen becomes brilliant in the many ways they go about it. Such as the Robert De Niro party that is capitalised by Dave Franco’s Meet the Parents De Niro impersonation (See below). With the supporting roles being prominent in the film is quite crucial as they provide sustenance to the comedy that would wear thin if it would have been a comedy battle between Efron and Rogen for 96 minutes.
With the runtime being an expected just over ninety-odd minutes, the film felt longer. However, it’s not a bad thing, because of the enjoyment factor I received from this film, made me surprised to learn it was only 96 minutes long. I’m wondering whether anyone had the same issue with their viewing?
In all honesty, the was great and very enjoyable to watch. My favourite part surrounding the film probably was the casting, I through they were all excellent in their roles, especially Dave Franco’s role in the film, with the representation of either side of the spectrum with regards to Teddy’s failure at college and Pete’s successfulness at college. However, the battles between the two neighbours provides some excellent laughs and the ridiculous lengths they both go to during them is also viewing pleasure.
If I were to say it was the best comedy I’ve seen for a while, I’d be lying. But it’s a refreshing, easy and fun watch at the cinema, or even at home when it comes out on DVD. I’d recommend. The ending is even nice, but I’ll let you discover that one for yourselves.