Moving, albeit somewhat begrudgingly, away from their youth and into full blown adulthood, married couple Mac (Seth Rogen) and Kelly (Rose Byrne), complete with a young, adorable daughter, become disillusioned when a fraternity move in next door. Initially hoping to strike up an affable bond with their younger counterparts, when Mac calls the police for noise disturbances, a war between households ensues, as the couple lock horns with Teddy (Zac Efron) and his sidekick Pete (Dave Franco), who play a number of pranks on their unsuspecting neighbours. However what the students hadn’t taken into account, is that this stubborn couple will simply not back down.
Coming from Nicholas Stoller, the man who brought us the likes of The Five-Year Engagement and Forgetting Sarah Marshall – Bad Neighbours is arguably his funniest yet, with an array of hilarious moments littered across the movie, as the scattergun approach to joke-telling serves this production well. Many of the most memorable moments do come in the trailer (a certain airbag springs to mind), but that doesn’t take much away from this hilarious feature film, that while covering easy territory, is still handled intelligently enough, allowing for Stoller to revel in the conventionality.
As expected, Rogen is brilliant as Mac, playing on his everyday quality and ordinary demeanour, making for an empathetic, relatable lead. However it’s Byrne that steals the show, flexing her comedic muscles – which she portrayed in Bridesmaids – and showing off her distinct ability for timing. Efron, meanwhile, though famed primarily for his good looks and years spent honing his craft in the world of Teen Disney – is now displaying an aptitude for comedy himself, and more than matches his experienced counterparts.
To compliment the frivolous, inane nature of this film, comes a rather comforting message about growing up. There’s something enlightening about seeing these characters act equally as immaturely as the younger crowd next door, and while the progression into adulthood remains a prevalent theme in this title, we’re left to reflect on a film that teaches us that the fear of getting older can be misjudged, and sometimes, as long as you maintain your spirit and vitality, it’s not such a bad thing after all.