Movie Review: ‘Neighbors’ with Seth Rogen, Zac Efron, Rose Byrne

By Andy Sidel

This image released by Universal Pictures shows Rose Byrne, left, and Seth Rogen in a scene from "Neighbors."
This image released by Universal Pictures shows Rose Byrne, left, and Seth Rogen in a scene from “Neighbors.”

Seth Rogen and Rose Byrne play a young married couple madly in love with each other. They also have a new baby, and a house. In other words, they’re suddenly adults. No more all-night benders, no more sex without the baby present, perhaps even watching. But that’s the price you pay for growing up, and you know what? Mac and Kelly Radners are happy.

Until a fraternity moves next door—Delta Psi Beta.

Mac and Kelly (Rogen and Byrne) immediately recognize what that means: noise! Noise that will wake the baby. So the Radners head next door to make nice with their new neighbors. Mac bonds with frat the president Teddy, played by Zac Efron, over copious amounts of drugs, booze, and movie quotes.

The following night, the frat throws another wild party. After leaving Teddy (Zac Efron) numerous voicemails, Mac breaks his promise and calls the cops. A heartbroken Teddy declares war on Mac, and the fun begins.

On the surface, “Neighbors” seems like a revenge comedy, but that theory serves as a terrific metaphor. Mac is struggling to break free of his youth and become a full-fledged adult with a child and a house, while Teddy, a college senior who’s poorly prepared to head into the workforce, is distressed over trying to avoid the future. Mac and Teddy are at war with themselves.

Zac Efron finally stripped himself of the High School Musical character he played so long ago and proving that he can be with someone as on his game as Seth Rogen.

The Upside: Pretty much start-to-finish funny

The Downside: The Ike Barinholtz subplot should have been beefed up or cut altogether

On the Side: Turns out Dave Franco does a killer De Niro in Meets the Parents impression.

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