Bad Neighbours (2014) (aka Neighbors – US Title)
Directed by Nicholas Stoller
Running time: 97 minutes
A couple (Seth Rogen & Rose Byrne) have to deal with the difficulties of trying to raise their young baby after a noisy college fraternity suddenly moves in next door. It turns into an all-out war & (predictable) HILARITY ENSUES!
Don’t you hate when movie titles get changed for other countries? I think the dumbest one was maybe Adventures In Babysitting being called A Night On The Town elsewhere. Also, Joy Ride was given the (just as dumb) title of Roadkill in the UK. The first Harold & Kumar movie was called Harold & Kumar Get The Munchies as we don’t have White Castles here. Reindeer Games was renamed Deception (no clue why). The fabulous & underrated Searching For Bobby Fischer was renamed Innocent Moves (what a sucky title!). There are tons more but I won’t waste your time any longer. At least Neighbors being changed to Bad Neighbours isn’t too bad and I suppose makes sense as everyone here apparently loves a stupid-looking Australian soap opera named Neighbours that I’ve never seen but it seems every Australian actor has been in it at least once. But I digress. Massively. Onto the review…
Bad Neighbours is, well, exactly what you’d expect from a comedy with Seth Rogen in it. I like some of his movies okay and don’t like others as much (This Is The End was decent but I don’t really get Superbad – maybe I need to watch it again). I liked The 40 Year-Old Virgin okay (written by the writers of Bad Neighbours). Basically, I can take or leave most of this kind of stuff – comedy isn’t really my favorite genre. But Bad Neighbours is, overall, one of the better ones in my opinion and I did laugh a good few times.
As I knew beforehand, since I’m old, it was the couple with the baby that I could relate to in this & not the college students. I suppose they’ve kind of managed to hit two target audiences this way. Although, as the hubby pointed out, this feels like it was written by those more our age (I don’t know the ages of the writers) so it didn’t feel quite as natural during the Zac Efron/frat party scenes as it did when Seth Rogen & Rose Byrne were onscreen. I suppose this is partly why I found any scenes with Rogen & Byrne far more funny than those with just Zac Efron & his frat brothers (especially the Rogen/Byrne sex scenes – they were pretty funny & I’m not exactly into “sex comedies”). I was worried beforehand that I’d just be too annoyed by the antics of the fraternity (I’m old. I can’t relate to horny, drunken twentysomethings). 😉 But, luckily, I don’t think they went too overboard & they didn’t make any of them too hateful. Indeed, there are good & bad from each side of this “neighbor war” and you may find that you change sides at times. (Although I was ALWAYS on the side of the couple with one of the most adorable baby girls EVER! Look at her! Awww. So freaking cute!). 🙂
So… Yeah. I don’t know. This movie was fun and I did enjoy it. It’s not the best comedy ever and it’s certainly not the worst. There are things I’d have done differently (such as the ending, which doesn’t quite feel resolved). But I didn’t HATE it in any way, which is how I feel about some comedies these days. There’s plenty of juvenile humor and loads of “dick jokes” but nothing I found totally stupid and nothing that I found offensive. And, I don’t want to sound uptight, but I think too much “comedy” resorts to sexist behavior that really gets on my nerves. There are some naked boobs in this, naturally, but for once the girls in a comedy weren’t treated like nothing more than a pair of tits. Yes, it’s of course mostly male actors as it’s a fraternity (I doubt it would pass The Bechdel test) but at least Rose Byrne’s role was just as big as Rogen’s & I think she did a really good job here and was very funny (Even though you see her boobs. Kind of. Not sure if they were really hers… Lol – You’ll see what I mean if you see it).
If you go to this expecting to have a few good laughs and to not have to think too much for 97 minutes, you should like this just fine. If you like Seth Rogen and/or any of the other people involved in this and the other movies they’ve made, you should like this just fine. I’m sorry this review makes it sound like I didn’t enjoy this much because I actually did – it’s just not my first choice of genre but I do like to have a bit of silly fun with a movie like this sometimes. I liked This Is The End and Bad Neighbours is kind of up there with that one for me – the concept is much more simple and it’s nowhere near as over the top but there are some genuinely funny moments in both movies.
My Rating: 7/10