Cinematic Releases: Neighbors

Neighbors is an unexpected ninety minutes of fun.

"Can you believe she fit that
whole......burrito in her mouth?!!"
You might lose count of the number of laugh out loud moments strewn across this simple filmic treat. Neighbors is solely a movie that does its job and leaves you with good vibes. One could assume the entirety of the plot based on the trailers, but I wasn't going in expecting to be thrown any curveballs. Seth Rogen is the man of one house and Zac Efron is the man of another. They compete with each other as the stakes are raised from one unique party atmosphere to another.

What I dug most about Neighbors wasn't so much the comedic value, it was the evolution of the party scenes, each of which had its own identity, accompanied by the heightened conflict. Pacing this escalation was smooth, and though light on sweeping arcs, Neighbors featured believable character portrayals on either side of the coin, be it Rogen's older family man or Efron's hot, young party animal. I got friends myself who are just like these guys both younger and older. It was constantly enjoyable seeing the juxtaposition of the frat family versus a biological one at odds with each other both thematically and physically.

"Wait. I'm confused. You mean to
tell me Zac Efron has talent?"
As a side note of sorts, I do feel I must mention that I think Zac Efron is heading in the right direction with his talents. His role, needless to say, isn't a particularly demanding one, but I could see sparks of an exceptional actor coming to life. I'll be keeping both eyes locked on his beautiful, Superman body... I mean career! I'll be watching his career!

The only flaw, if you can call it that, was that Neighbors doesn't necessarily have any meat on its bones. It's kind of a one and done film. I couldn't see myself voluntarily queuing up this flick to watch it again. Yeah, it's definitely a great flick, and that's all I expected and all I needed from it. Though, I will say, its release has impeccable timing. Leaving the theater on the first warm night of 2014 had me thinking back to the simple joys of the film and what a great, warm invitation it is to the beginning of summer.

I do recommend seeing Neighbors, though I would strongly suggest not to expect too much, and you'll have a blast.

-JG Barnes