Valdosta Daily Times


May 15, 2014

‘Neighbors:’ Not the most neighborly movie

VALDOSTA — “Neighbors” (Comedy: 1 hour, 36 minutes)

Starring: Seth Rogen, Rose Byrne and Zac Efron     

Director: Nicholas Stoller

Rated: R (Sexuality, profanity, crude humor, sexual innuendo, drug usage, nudity, violence and thematic elements)

Movie Review: Biggest problem with some movies is they make little sense for the world they create. This is the case when the Delta Psi Beta fraternity moves into a quaint middle-class neighborhood and only one couple has a problem with this.

The complaining couple is Mac and Kelly Radner (respectively Rogen and Byrne). They live next door to the fraternity. They are the proud parents of a newborn child, Stella (played by Elise and Zoey Vargas). They moved into their quiet neighborhood, hoping it would be a good place to raise their daughter.

After the fraternity has a loud event, the Radners call law-enforcement officials who tell the fraternity that the Radners initiated the noise complaint. Under the leadership of the fraternity’s president, Teddy Sanders (Efron), and its vice-president, Pete (Franco), the frat brothers intend to get even. War ensues, the Radners versus Delta Psi Beta.

This type of movie aims for adult audiences, college-aged students. More than likely, this age range has performed many of the behaviors shown. Mature viewers should find this comedy childish material.

“Fun with Dick and Jane” (2005), “Get Him to the Greek” (2010), “The Five-Year Engagement” (2012) are all films directed by Nicholas Stoller. His films have a good underlying plot, but his films are usually a series of jokes reused continuously until they lose their effect. Here, the antics between the fraternity and Radners becomes one crude joke after the next without a smart pay out.

Rogen was funny when he first debuted in movies. His comedic shtick was new, and sometimes youthfully witty. Since, he has become the grown man acting silly. He delivers the same material without making it fresh.

Byrne tags along for fun, but she and Rogen do not seem like solid parents. If so, they are bad parents. Audiences should question any parent who leaves a young baby alone for nearly 10-plus hours while the parent drinks and does drugs with people half their age. The Radners leave their child to tell a fraternity to behave. This is stupid when the parents are behaving as badly as the fraternity. This is a comedy, and it has some laughs in store. Yet, we should not be amused.

Grade: C (There goes the neighborhood.)


“Legends of Oz: Dorothy’s Return” (Animation/Adventure/Musical: 1 hour, 32 minutes)

Starring: Lea Michele, Kelsey Grammer, James Belushi and Dan Aykroyd          

Directors: Will Finn and Dan St. Pierre

Rated: PG (Violence, non-sociable language, some scary images and mild peril)

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