To Agree or Disagree: Neighbors Movie Review

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Dani: When Mikaius and I saw Neighbours Neighbors last week, I was fully expecting it to be along the lines of Horrible Bosses, or Bridesmaids. Something he and I could watch for maybe an hour and a half, laugh our heads off, then come home and forget about. Something that was wonderfully relaxing. Something stupidly funny. As it turns out, it wasn’t quite Horrible Bosses, or Bridesmaids, or even Ted. It was an underwhelming movie full of secondhand embarrassment cringe moments, fangirl-ing over Zac Efron’s abs, and a rather thorough discussion of Dave Franco’s acting abilities, who we jokingly called Franco Lite.

Mikaius: Okay, okay. We’re on different pages with this one. Horrible Bosses was not for me, I didn’t like anyone in the cast. Bridesmaids was alright, but it didn’t impress me. Never saw Ted. I liked the cast in this one. Efron was pretty and convincing, he sold the “good dude that’s wrapped up in childish bullshit” thing, while both Rogen and Byrne were on the ball as off-the-ball and awful people/parents. For me, the embarrassment was the point of the movie: as much as I wanted to get up and leave because no-no-no-no-no, I wanted to see it pan out.

Dani: Neighbors is mostly focused on Seth Rogen’s character, Mac, his wife Kelly, and their baby, Stella. When the house beside them is bought by a fraternity, a war of pranks ensues, which the parents justify as efforts to keep their baby asleep at proper hours. Now I’ve had a bit of a crush on Rose Byrne since I first saw her in Insidious, so I knew that if I hated Neighbours, I’d still enjoy looking at her face. Turns out, I spent a lot of time with my body physically averted from the screen whenever she and Rogen were on, because holy crap, I have never been in a movie as cringe-inducing as this one.

Mikaius: I think what I love about it is all that awful doesn’t even really come from the frat. The awfulness comes from our protagonists, from the parents. They are just the worst kind of despicable hanger-ons that can’t let go. I enjoyed hating them, and that is the failure of the movie for me. The parents absolutely never get what they deserve, and the more worthy characters just kinda get on with their lives, some of them in shambles.

Dani: The film was not as enjoyable as I thought it would be. There are golden moments, particularly between Teddy (Efron) and Pete (Franco Lite), but they are exactly that, moments. Efron and Franco work great together as actors, and you get some pretty heavy times between them (“Be in this moment with me!”). Other than that, though the movie was something I would put on the TV and then just walk away from. It didn’t hold my attention much – and it wasn’t bad acting, so much as a weak storyline. Byrne and Rogen make amazing cringe-worthy characters believable, but at the core of it, they’re just two grown-ups who got away with doing awful things.

Mikaius: Teddy and Pete could hold the movie on their own, for me. Bros of a higher caliber, those two. The worst part of the movie was also what kept it kicking. The parents’ absolute inability to just call it quits, and recognize when they have opportunities for amendments as opposed to aggression. Their awful characters are the real “fratboys” of the movie. Honestly, I’m more disappointed in the lack of Teddy and Mac action than anything.

Final rating: Mikaius and I definitely disagree on this one.

Mikaius: 3.5/5, would definitely watch again.

Dani: 2/5, would watch again but only if I can have it on the background while I’m cleaning up or baking.

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