Rapid Review: Bad Neighbours

Film Title: Bad Neighbors

A disarmingly funny new film from Nicholas Stoller combining the two most unlikely leads for cross-demographic fun.

Despite penning the mostly forgettable Fun with Dick and Jane, Nicholas Stoller has rapidly set the tone for off-beat comedies over the last decade. His directorial debut not only successfully transitioned Jason Segel into a leading man, but it paved the way for the writer/director to add his distinct voice to projects as diverse as Gulliver’s Travels, The Five Year Engagement and of course, The Muppets. Although penned by Andrew J. Cohen and Brendan O’Brien, Bad Neighbours (simply known as Neighbors in its native US) has Stoller’s style stamped all over it, successfully mixing it with the edgier brand of comedy that star Seth Rogen has been associated with.

New parents Mac Radner (Seth Rogen) and his wife Kelly (Rose Byrne) think they have it made when they move into the suburbs to start their life together. However, when a college fraternity moves in next door to them, their fears that a peaceful existence may soon be over rapidly become a reality. After inadvertently breaking the trust of frat leaders Teddy Sanders (Zac Efron) and Pete Regazolli (Dave Franco), the latter duo declare war on their neighbours – with hilarious consequences.

Bad Neighbours portions out the laughs between the unlikely duo of leading men, both slipping comfortably into the raunchy gags and adult-oriented humour. Indeed, Efron makes for a charming comic antagonist, mostly because his intrinsic charm makes him impossible to dislike. As such, simple stoner comedy sits easily beside a scheme to make dildos out of the frat member’s members. It’s also wonderful to not only hear Rose Byrne speaking in her native Australian accent, but celebrating it via several jokes at our crazy country’s expense. Bad Neighbours is a unfettered and often unchained assault on the funny bone.

Rating:Better Than Average Bear (★★★½)