Wednesday, 1 October 2014

Bad Neighbors / Neighbors

I once lived next door to a group of Italian squatters who gave everyone I was living with free drugs and then stole all their shit. I even woke up beside a girl whose name I can’t remember because the Police raided the flat and the squatters had legged it leaving an unconscious girl in their den causing everyone to freak out. On a some-what related note; out now on Blu-Ray and DVD is Bad Neighbors or Neighbors in the US (the name was changed so that we didn’t mistake it for the Australian soap opera… maybe), a film about Zac Efron making a baby cry, starring Zac Efron, Seth Rogen and Rose Byrne.


Mac and Kelly are a young couple, one which has recently given birth to a baby child, and they are happy as can be in their brand new house. However, due to an unfortunate decision on someone’s behalf, they end up living next door to Teddy Sanders (Efron) and Pete Regazolli (Dave Franco) – two college goers who have promised themselves that they are going to party pretty much constantly until the end of the school year. They come to a mutual understanding allowing Max and Kelly trying to feel cool and youthful, and Teddy and Pete to enjoy themselves without any hassle from the cops. It doesn’t last very long and a small-scale war breaks out. Teddy and Pete have only one chance left to get through the year without getting into trouble by accidentally burning down a building, hacking into Jennifer Lawerence’s iCloud or simply raping some woman. This causes tension and gives Mac and Kelly a way to destroy and remove Teddy and Pete.


College is a place where you are supposed to study, invent Facebook, fall in love, get married to the wrong person, realise you’re gay, realise you aren’t gay and smoke drugs, cook drugs, drink drugs, drink drive, discover your vocation and make bad life choices that you think are epiphanies. Despite it being an exciting time, films about going to college can be tedious but thankfully this film, far from tedious, is significantly better than I thought it would be. This is probably due to me totally forgetting what happened in the trailer because having now watched the trailer I realise that most of the film, as per usual, has been stripped down and waved in front of your face before you get anywhere near the DVD. I would ban trailers like this if I had an opportunity.

Maybe once Google and Facebook finally steal your soul/identity they can send you an email that says ‘Go watch [Film] you’ll really enjoy it!’ You’ll be able to just go, enjoy it and you can trust Google and Facebook even more. Bad Neighbors was a fun Seth Rogen stoner comedy that feels just like all his other ones but not in a negative way. If I buy a burger from McDonalds I expect it to be a certain amount of good and crap – that’s what I expect from a Seth Rogen film and I’m always pleasantly surprised. Except with 50/50, that’s not a cheer-up-a-bad-mood kinda film.


The downside is also it’s strength; it is what it is – a film about people not getting along, but it’s tidy and it made me feel good.

Bad Neighbors gets a 3/5.

[★★★☆☆]

Dave Roberts


Bad Neighbors at CeX


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