Sunday, May 4, 2014

Frat Bastards (Movie Review: Neighbors)

I am so not the target market for "Neighbors."  But I have been hearing fantastic talk about it - Ellen Degeneres calls it the funniest movie she has seen in a long time - plus it has Zac Efron, whom Seth Rogen sescribes as "the perfect specimen, like he was put together in a gay guy's lab" so I said what's 90+ minutes to waste watching it?  I did, and I survived. I am sure this movie will have tons of fans - I predict a cult classic along the lines of Animal House - but I am unmoved by it. But I wasn't supposed to be, I guess. Directed by Nicholas Stoller, it doesn't seem to have a coherent story. This film is a series of skits, one raunchier than the other. I wonder in this day and age if ti would still shock anyone. Gags upon gags - physical, sexual - hit you one after another that you have no choice but to laugh. You will be *FORCED* to laugh seems to be its motto. Everyone's game - Rogan seems to be playing himself (and he does say in interviews that the premise seems to have been inspired by his experience with his wife after having a baby) and Byrne is equally adept at trying to push envelopes. Efron is fine as the President of the Fraternity, and I appreciated that they put some kind of texture in his character. He attempts to add some depth to his Teddy, and is successful as the script allows (There's only so much one can do)  Dave Franco is equally fine, and gives his character a modern subtext. Throughout the movie, I was at odds rooting for anyone - they all seem despicable to me yet the actors have enough to charm to woo. But in the end, I felt like I spent time with people I normally would never even associate with.

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