Neighbors Sees the Other Franco Steal the Spotlight

Kelly (Rose Byrne) and Mac (Seth Rogen) were content to settle down in their nice and quiet neighborhood with their newborn child, until the house next door was taken over by a rowdy fraternity. Teddy (Zac Efron) is the President, Pete (Dave Franco) is his right hand man and chapter vice president, and the duo is quick to attempt to win over their new neighbors.  But after a string of sleepless nights due to insanely loud parties, Mac calls the cops, who promptly out him as the complainant to the frat…then the war begins.

The premise for Neighbors is as simple and generic as revenge comedies go, the antics keep building and building to preposterous levels that stretch the lengths of believability and eventually ignore any sense, logic or reason all together. Often the one difference that makes comedies like this work is the chemistry between the film’s leads and Rogen and Efron do have great chemistry on screen, but this time it’s the supporting parts of their duos who steal the show. Byrne shows a great knack for comedy, getting to play against her normal type and her Kelly instigates more than enough trouble. But the real standout is Dave Franco who practically rips the screen away from Efron every time they appear together. His performance is the highlight of the film.

The gags and schemes run from the hilarious to the groan-worthingly annoying, but there are some genuine laughs to be had through the film. Sadly the film’s best gag, involving car air bags, has been ruined by every trailer and commercial in the weeks leading up to the release. Director Nicholas Stoller brings a lot of the sensibilities that he used on Get Him to the Greek to use here, and the film’s solid sense of pacing benefits from it, Neighbors does not lag at any point.

Neighbors is likely not the best comedy we will see this year, 22 Jump Street looks poised to dominate the summer comedy slate not only at the box office but in sheer amount of laughs, but it’s hardly a waste of anybody’s time. Even at its most formulaic, Neighbors elevates past its limitations with the chemistry of its leads and the sheer awesomeness that is Dave Franco.

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Kirk Haviland
Kirk Haviland has spent over 20 years working in Entertainment Retail which has enabled him to have a unique opinion and perspective on film and music. A fixture around Toronto film festivals and movie repertory houses, Kirk`s opinions can be seen on multiple outlets. He now also very happy to call Addicted home.
Kirk Haviland
Kirk Haviland