Review: Bad Neighbours

Things get gleefully crude and bawdy in Bad Neighbours which pits Seth Rogen and Rose Byrne's thirty-something couple against Zac Efron and his team of riotous frat-boys.

Mac (Rogen) and Kelly Radner (Byrne) are a young couple struggling to adapt from their partying lifestyle to new-found parenthood. When Teddy (Efron) and his heavy-partying fraternity house move in next door - the couple find themselves at war with Delta Psi.

Andrew Cohen and Brendan O'Brien's screenplay is layered with countless gags from consistent chuckles to occasional belly-laugh inducing comic set-pieces. Thanks to a game cast and sharp directorial eye from Nicholas Stoller, Bad Neighbours stands firm as the year's best comedy. From quick one-liners like Teddy dubbing a freshman 'Lea Michele' or Mac and Kelly discussing how to tell the frat to 'KEEP IT DOWN!' (Trust me, most of these sound funnier in context), to larger sight gags (a scene involving breastmilk is a real gross out highlight), Bad Neighbours is certainly what would be described as 'laugh-a-minute'.

Whilst Rogen is an undeniable pro when it comes to comedy, the real standouts of the cast are Bryne and Efron. There's a fantastically played desperation in Mac and Kelly, that is as sweet as it is amusing. Bryne proves herself as a gifted comic performer who packs a real comic punch in everything from physical mannerisms to slight line-delivery. Efron brings a real sexy cockiness to the role of Delta Psi President Teddy - a young man fanatically committed to the brotherhood ideals of his fraternity. The final few moments see the young star shine - most notably in an insane fight between Mac and Teddy where Efron doesn't hold back on his well-honed comic skills.

Cohen and O'Brien do tackle some mature themes in this bawdy romp - mainly that of growing up. The Radner's struggle to adapt to a 'conventional' life leaving their twenty-something partying days behind, whilst Teddy, Pete (Dave Franco) and co. are faced with the prospect of growing up once their university days are over. This message is likely to relate to both older and younger viewers, but let's be honest here, you are unlikely to take away a motivational message here: we just want to be amused by Seth Rogen and Zac Efron having a dildo fight.

Of course there is much else to enjoy: supporting turns from Dave Franco, Ike Barinholtz, Carla Gallo, and a short-yet hilarious cameo from Lisa Kudrow (particularly amusing as she discusses the power of a negative news headline) are pitch-perfect; Zac Efron's physique is on display for around 50% of his scenes (it is truly the Eighth Wonder of the World); plus there is also one of the cutest babies in the history of cinema.

Bad Neighbours is a consistently amusing watch that takes no shame in its gleeful bawdiness and crass gags. Thanks to joke-filled screenplay, sharp comic direction, and a game cast, Bad Neighbours is the best comedy of the year thus far.


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