As Mac (Seth Rogen) and Kelly (Rose Byrne) deal with the monotonous routine of adult life, interruption and destruction comes in the form of the Delta Psi Beta fraternity and their front men Teddy (Zac Efron) and Pete (Dave Franco). While there are some laughs to be had, Bad Neighbours is really about growing up and facing the one step almost all of us dread/dreaded… being an adult.
While Director Nicholas Stoller doesn’t attempt to hide the fact that the film has this underlying theme – there’s actually a scene between Efron and Franco where it’s openly discussed – it works for the film’s style. Mac and Kelly are drastically bored of being adults and doing the right thing for their daughter, Stella, so while they spend the entirety of the film trying to get the fraternity out of the neighbour hood, they’re actually a welcome distraction from their drab lives. And the film isn’t coy on pointing out the boredom that comes with growing up; I just don’t know who has it worse, Kelly or Mac.
However, their situation does provide some good comedy; the struggle of motherhood being brought to light with Kelly needing to be milked “like a cow” certainly made me thankful for being a guy. I thought they made a really good team, and actually a really sweet couple. I rooted for them and applauded their parenting style (well, mostly). Rogen and Byrne worked really well – I like them individually but together they were really funny.
But that’s where most of the laughs stayed for me, I didn’t find the frat as funny as I first thought I would. Efron seemed quite awkward in front of the camera and a little cold – whether that was just his character or not I don’t know – but I didn’t find that side to the film very engaging and a little boring.
What I did love, though was the ensemble cast and the cameos. There were so many big comedy actors in there and I was surprised to see them. My favourite had to be Hannibal Burress, I love him in Broad City and he was just as funny in this. And although I didn’t see any need for Christopher Mintz-Plasse’s character it was good to see him again.
Overall, Bad Neighbours kept me entertained, kept me laughing and made me want to see the second film. So it can’t have been that bad.
Thanks for reading,
all the best,