Bad Neighbours / Neighbors – comedy film review
I had fairly high hopes for Bad Neighbours. And yes I’m spelling it the English way because I cannot bring myself to leave out the “u”. Pretty decent cast, irreverent storyline, light hearted fun plus Zac Efron topless. Sounds alright.
The story follows new parents Mac and Kelly (Seth Rogen, Rose Byrne) who are horrified to discover a group of fraternity boys (led by Zac Efron and Dave Franco) have moved into the house next door, shaking both noise levels and the paranoia the couple have associated with having a baby and ‘getting old’. And yes it is odd seeing Seth Rogen playing the concerned dad, but he does eat pizza in bed, wear a comedy t-shirt and puff on a bong so it’s definitely still him and not an evil intruder.
Unfortunately Bad Neighbours misses the mark quite a bit. It’s definitely watchable because (Zac Efron gets his top off) there are some genuinely funny jokes and a nice cast, but the storyline and character development was so sketchy that I was never able to relate to the characters or believe in the story. Which by the by, is so ludicrous that more suspension of belief will be needed than when you watched Inception (“it’s a dream inside a dream inside a manifestation of a dream!”).
Everyone played their part well and I liked Rose Byrne. Her character was more psychotic than Rogen’s and she was also fond of the F word. It was nice to see a woman in a comedy with a bit of spunk, rather than just moaning at her husband’s antics. Both Efron and Franco were ideal as the good looking, arrogant frat boys and Seth Rogen was, Seth Rogen (he just had a baby in this one).
So why all the grumble? Well many of the jokes were too far-fetched and didn’t feel relevant to the story – it jumped from one outlandish situation to another. One guy had a 16 inch penis and no-one spoke of a medical condition….
There wasn’t much continuity and forget about character development – many of the supporting cast were only on screen when only absolutely necessary to the plot and at times I forgot who people were. It was also quite an immature movie – which is fine – but then with bizarre sparks of sentimentality that didn’t really work because you already don’t give a shit about the characters.
I was disappointed but that’s not to say it’s all bad. I mean I’ve already mentioned Zac Efron taking his top off but there are funny jokes as well and I did laugh out loud quite a bit. I just knew as I was laughing I probably wouldn’t ever watch it again. Compared to the other two major comedy movies I saw this summer – 22 Jump Street and The Inbetweeners 2 – Bad Neighbours lacks some charm and likeability, but that’s to do with the plot, not the actors and actress who carry it best they can.
But to try and leave this on a positive, happy review note, this was not only the funniest scene of the movie, but one of the funniest scenes that I’ve seen all year – the Robert De Niro Party. Pure psycho madness.
God bless Dave Franco. I wish there could have been more surreal bits like this!