When it takes only three minutes for there to be a gag about weed, you know you are watching a Seth Rogen film. It is wild, it is rude and it most certainly is not clever, but Bad Neighbours, directed by Get Him to the Greek’s Nicholas Stoller, has just enough smile-inducing moments to get you through to the end.
Mac (Rogen) and Kelly (Rose Byrne) are new parents who have moved into a nice, quiet suburban area to raise their bundle of joy, Stella (Elise/Zoey Vargas). That is, of course, until a fraternity moves in next door. Here begins an epic neighbourhood battle between the middle-aged couple and the cool frat boys, lead by Teddy (Zac Efron) and his deputy Pete (Dave Franco), resulting in the odd all-night party and a noise complaint or two.
Bad Neighbours, in a very loud, vulgar kind of way, is fundamentally a story about growing up – albeit clouded by an extremely high amount of penis-related humour. Mac and Kelly are still craving the adventure of life, one they fear they have lost since having a baby, whilst Teddy is consumed with anxiety over what the hell he is going to do after college has finished.
It is a film that will, at one point or another, however hard you might try, make you smile – if not for any other reason than its sheer stupidity. The jokes are easy, the topics are crass, but when the film tries to add an ounce of intelligence to its humour, like the Robert De Niro party scene, Bad Neighbours is at its funniest.
There is nothing spectacular about any of the characters – Zac Efron takes his top off a lot, Seth Rogen does his usual mumbling thing and Rose Byrne, well, is just there – and the plot is a little imbalanced, a long with being pretty ridiculous, but the film does enough – for a certain type of audience – to get by.