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Mac and Kelly are settling down in a peaceful, suburban neighbourhood with their newborn baby daughter.
The houses are faultless, the lawns spotless, and the street itself gleams with perfection.
Until of course, the new neighbours arrive..
It’s a fraternity.
And soon enough the houses are trashed, the lawns strewn with condoms and beer cans, and the street gleams – as it becomes home to the country’s biggest firework display.
Kelly and Mac report their new neighbours to the police anonymously – which backfires and causes friction between the two houses.
All of a sudden the niceties end.
The gloves are off, the baby is put to bed, and our happy suburban couple switch milk bottles for glow-sticks, as they enter battle with the frat boys.
This means WAR…
Seth Rogan – Mac Radner
Rose Byrne – Kelly Radner
Zac Efron – Teddy Sanders
Dave Franco – Pete
Carla Gallo – Paula
Fancy sticking Rose Byrne in your classic ‘lads trash’ movie!
..strangely though, it kind of worked.
When I first saw Rose was part of the cast, I sighed – on her behalf – at the fact such a talented actress was going to be swamped in penis, boobs, cans of beer and other things twenty-something males find hysterical. Luckily, having her in Bad Neighbours was like sprinkling bland pasta with cheese; she was a welcome relief in a movie which without her would have been bloody awful.
Her most funniest parts were (as shown in the trailer) “keep it DOWN”, and the scene where she hatches an ‘ingenious’ plot to cause a rift between the fraternity (by setting up a sexual rendezvous between a particular boy and girl) which sees her blow on her knuckles in a slow motion “fuck yeah, I’m cool” way, before standing atop a balcony in the boys’ house and firmly announcing, “right – we’ve got roughly three minutes before they go upstairs and fuck”.
..this line had the audience laughing out loud heartily.
So I didn’t want Rose to get sucked in to the whole ‘lad trash’ genre. But the performance she gave managed to splinter it, shake it up – bringing a fresh face and nice female humour to what would’ve been yet another tacky feature that I may have walked out of halfway through.
The woman is naturally funny.
Seth Rogan mildly repulses me anyway. But him getting his kit off in this turned my stomach..
During the opening scene Mac and Kelly are attempting to make love, and when Seth gets his shirt off he reveals a very furry back.
I nearly wretched. The man prances around topless a few times during the movie, so if you’re not a fan of back hair, you may cringe.
What I found odd was that with everything that takes place, all the other neighbours seem to be blissfully oblivious. You get a split-second glimpse of the old woman who lives down the street, but otherwise – nobody’s home. All action takes place within the two houses and between the two groups, so obviously the focus is on them.
However, I’m the type of viewer who notices the random elments amongst the usual ones and I noticed this: So much shit kicks off, yet Mac and Kelly are the only ones involved in it all – no other neighbour on the street seems to be subject to what is going on. It reminded me a little of the Home Alone movies, where a singular resident (or resident couple in this case) falls victim to a nasty situation in the middle of the street yet everyone seem conveniently, to be on holiday.
Certain gags in this movie were just pants. Literally. Thing is, they fit perfectly and were very apt so where do I stand saying otherwise?..
The frat boys sculpting the young couple’s lawn bush into the shape of a man bending over (therefore creating visual comedy when he and she try yanking it out of the ground – he behind, she vagina-level in front).
Mac and Kelly swearing blind to keep themselves to themselves, but then pop nextdoor and get completely off their faces to the point of total carnage.
The frat boys making models of their penises which they then sell to the public to make money (involves very immature scene whereby one of them loses his all of his pubic hair.
I rolled my eyes more than a few times due to the sheer immaturity taking place on screen.
I hate it, I really do; lads of no more than 22 whose conversations seem to be fuelled by their penises, whose every other word is “pussy” or linked to masturbation – at the same time as screwing up a beer can in their hands and roaring in delight at how life-affirming getting drunk is.
Some directors paint an awful picture of the male culture in general; making it look as though a gentleman can think of absolutly nothing but
how he must maintain his physique in order to get laid,
getting so plastered he doesn’t know his own name anymore,
how fanscinated he is by cock but can’t bring himself to experiment with fellow cock-lovers.
What a refreshing cameo! I loved it.
She’s not in the movie for long, but when she is she boosts it along nicely.
I personally haven’t seen her in anything for quite a few years, so I enjoyed the chance to see her. She looks like she’s ageing well (very well) and had a few audience members reacting the second she appeared on screen (most of the audience were foreign, so my guess was that their reaction was something along the lines of, “aah, lady fwom Fwiends”).
Little Stella (‘played’ by Elise and Zoey Vargas) is adorable, incredibly adorable.
The child evoked the “awwww” reaction from the audience more than a few times; whether she was kicking her legs and smiling at the fraternity boys or cheekily giggling at her parents, the infant was bloody delightful.
I don’t think I’ve seen a cuter baby in a movie – and like Rose – was a breath of fresh air amongst the trash.
Yes, they are in it.
But hey – if Seth Rogan is in a movie, Dave Franco has to be in it.
If Seth Rogan and Dave Franco are in a movie, Christopher Mintz-Plasse has to be in it.
That’s just the way it works.
As I sat watching Bad Neighbours, I found myself revelling in the overall idea of it.
I removed myself from the action on screen for a second and thought about the whole ‘problem neighbours’ concept.
And what a great concept it is.
New neighbours move in – current neighbours seem interested in who they are – but shit kicks off, and people who are supposed to live nicely side by side suddenly erupt in a social war. This is a brilliant idea for a movie; mainly because it touches on something which should be peaceful and suburban, and turns it on its head.
This is where Bad Neighbours went right; steering away from any cliché settings or plots and delivering a movie which blends two age brackets nicely in a calm neighbourhood setting which would otherwise function without any issues. Yes this movie definitely shakes up the street.
Overall, Bad Neighbours is OK.
Its not brilliant, but the script and one-liner’s manage to deliver nicely and get a few laughs.
Its your classic ‘lads trash’ with a twist – the twist being its plot and setting, and having actors like Rose Byrne and Zac Efron in the cast. Because without those two and the story, Bad Neighbours would have ended up another This Is The End piece of shit, whereby men stand around discussing their masturbatory habits whilst necking cans of beer. Pointless.
This movie was saved by Rose Byrne and the cute baby. They levelled it out nicely, Rose proving yet again just how versatile an actress she is, capable of so many different roles.
Worth a watch, but don’t rush to see it.