Family vs. frat; a review of Neighbors (2014)


I can say in full confidence of my sexuality that Zac Efron shirtless is a sight for sore eyes.

Neighbors (2014) tells the story of a family of three – Mac (Seth Rogen), Kelly (Rose Byrne), and their newborn baby – as they move into a new home in a small neighborhood. Days later, they have new neighbors move in, and these neighbors are a fraternity led by their president, Teddy (Zac Efron), and vice president, Pete (Dave Franco). Then, just as you’d suspect, Mac and Kelly want the frat to keep the noise down so they can raise their baby in peace, the frat is reluctant, and all hell breaks loose.

I don’t wanna say I had the highest expectations for this movie, but I certainly went into it optimistic. I thought I could relate to it, being a fraternity brother, and I thought the pranks and commentary on adults vs. college students would bring a lot of laughs. They certainly did bring laughs but not the, “OH MY GOD THAT WAS SO FUNNY,” kind of laugh. More like the, “Haha… haha… ha,” kind of laughs. That’s not to say I didn’t find the movie funny. It’s just there were no jokes that really broke new ground. What I thought broke the most ground in this movie is a way that the frat brothers discover how to make money for themselves and fix up their house. I’d be shocked if another fraternity didn’t take influence from this movie and try to do this.


I think what bugged me most about this movie is that it was pretty clear the message they were TRYING to send to audiences: That family comes before anything, and family can be a wife and kid, or a group of fraternity brothers. However it was the execution that was off, and the writers could have gone down a different road than they should have. A lot of things that happen in this movie makes me dislike a majority of the characters. By the end, I think the only character I really liked was the baby! I will say, however, that I am happy Zac Efron is doing more things with his career rather than trying to coast off of his success in High School Musical (2006).

I wouldn’t call Neighbors a BAD movie by any means. I didn’t walk out of the theater feeling like I wasted my money (Then again I went before noon and paid $6.00 for my ticket). I would just say that it lost its way in trying to convey a message to audiences, and what we got was a movie with some pretty good laughs; but at the expense of a moral grey area when it came to the characters’ intentions. If you’re not gonna have a lot of laughs, then you need to make the underlying message more clear and execute it more efficiently. Otherwise you’re just gonna have an incredibly average movie all around.

Overall Rating: 5.5/10 – Rent it. 

Good laughs, but not great ones. Not the best writing, but a good showing of Zac Efron shirtless and Dave Franco’s ass.




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