There is a phase in Hollywood that never truly seems to get old: college debauchery. We saw its rise with the classic Animal House and more recently such new classics as Superbad, Project X, and 21 & Over. Though as the years go on it seems as if movies’ stories have been marginalized and the levels of ridiculous shenanigans have increased higher than ever. Thankfully Neighbors goes back to storytelling basics as we are presented a solid foundation surrounded by all of the goodies we have come to love in films like this.
Neighbors takes place in a small university town where Mac (Seth Rogen), his wife Kelly (Rose Byrne), and their baby Stella are comfortable in their suburban lifestyle. However we quickly learn that this couple is just dying to escape their new adult reality of parenthood after they miss another of their friends’ insane parties. What better way to let off some steam and relive your youth than with your next door neighbors: the new Delta Psi Beta fraternity?
Mac and fraternity president Teddy (Zac Efron) initially hit it off after having a “Batman off,” and promise that if any issues arise Mac and Kelly will approach Teddy first. The next night the police are called and war is officially declared. The fraternity leaders Teddy and Pete (Dave Franco) go into battle against their cop-calling, ball busting, party killing neighbors.
The problem with movies similar to this is that they abandon all the rules of good story-telling and just set out to create an simplistic tale of debauchery without any real purpose. However, Neighbors, while filled with the expected insanity, stupidity, and absurdity, manages to interweave a decent story into the film. Neighbors is the love child of Blue Mountain State (Spike TV) and movies like 21 Jump Street and Superbad. Neighbours seamlessly Incorporates the essence of college life from BMS, the craziness of 21 Jump Street and the sheer brilliance of Superbad
Neighbors embodies what great college frat movies are made for and is not simply amateur attempt at creating the most amazing college party ever. It earns its spot on the wall of fame with such greats as Van Wilder and Animal House. Neighbors will have you laughing throughout, even if the giggles seem inappropriately placed.