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Bad Neighbours - Film Review

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by Richard Leathem (subscribe)
Freelance writer. Melbourne based cinephile. Fond of food.
Published May 5th 2014
Boys just want to have fun
Director: Nicholas Stoller (Forgetting Sarah Marshall, Get Him to the Greek, The Five-Year Engagement)
Cast: Seth Rogan, Rose Byrne, Zac Efron, Dave Franco

Anyone who has lived in the inner suburbs will know the ordeal of neighbours who party late and loud. Such a misfortune falls on Mac (Seth Rogan) and Kelly (Rose Byrne), proud parents to Stella. Keen to have respectable new neighbours, their worst nightmare is realised when a truck load of noisy frat boys pulls up next door, headed by the deceptively charming Teddy (Zac Efron).

bad neighbours zac efron
Zac Efron as Teddy, a frat boy with a penchant for parties and an aversion to shirts.

Mac and Kelly try to get off on the right foot by appealing to the college students' good nature and passing themselves off as cool and hip types, while still getting the message across that they need a good night's sleep. Initially this seems to work, but it's not long before they commit the cardinal sin of complaining to the cops about the frat boys, triggering an all-out war between the neighbours.

As the idealistic young parents, Rogan and Byrne are the perfect comedic couple, displaying great chemistry and timing. Byrne even gets to keep her Australian accent, which seems to be happening more often in Hollywood films these days.

Zac Efron is also well cast as the cocky but charismatic party boy who's a maestro at pulling a crowd and doesn't look too shabby when called upon to take his shirt off - which is often.

bad neighbours rose byrne seth rogan
Young parents Kelly (Rose Byrne) and Mac (Seth Rogan) with pal Paula (Carla Gallo)

As is the norm with youth-skewed comedies, the humour is pretty blue, and what contemporary laffer is complete without a set-piece featuring bodily functions. On this occasion it's a heavily lactating Rose Byrne that fits the bill.

Bawdiness aside, there's enough smart humour to set the film above most of its peers, and the characters are well-formed and hugely relatable. Despite the uniformly excellent performances though, many will believe that toddler Stella is the real star. As played by twins Elise and Zoey Vargas, she's a real scene stealer.

bad neighbours zac efron
You talkin to me? Frat boys Teddy and Pete (Dave Franco) hold a Robert De Niro party.

There are plenty of lame comedies out there, as evidenced by the appalling trailers preceding the screening of this film, but Bad Neighbours isn't one of them. It's a fast-paced rib tickler with great performances, smart dialogue and some good old-fashioned, well executed slapstick.

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Why? One of the year's best comedies
Where: At cinemas everywhere
Your Comment
I loved this movie, yes it's a little crass but I LOVED the humour (maybe that's more to do with my sensibilities than anything else coz the woman sitting next to me didn't laugh at all). And I love Rose Byrne!
by Erica Enriquez (score: 2|218) 2326 days ago
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