Seth Rogen Finds Himself with “Bad Neighbours” and a Bad Script in Nicholas Stoller’s Uninspired Comedy
Neighbors, which is known as Bad Neighbours in the UK, might have considered simply “Bad” to avoid any conflict with false advertising regulation as Raghav Modi finds out…
A cast comprising of Seth Rogen, Zac Efron, Rose Byrne, and Dave Franco could controversially be called unconventional comedy gold. It should work well with the modern day audience that watches films primarily for the purpose for entertainment and doesn’t mind having to leave their brains behind when going to the theater. Agreeably Seth Rogen has had his fair share of hits and misses and Zac Efron does deserve credit for being brave enough to try his hands at different genres and roles. Add to that a plot which consists of new parents Mac and Kelly Radner (Seth Rogen and Rose Byrne) having to deal with their new neighbours which just happen to be a frat house led by Teddy (Zac Efron) and Pete (Dave Franco) and everything seems to be on the right track, for the film that is, but Mac and Kelly now have to deal with noisy neighbours and a dilemma arises of either playing it cool with their next door “younger” party throwers or being mature and responsible adults.
So then why is it that the film simply fails to leave an impact? For one reason it still sticks to the brand of comedy that was revived by the likes of American Pie but then slowly died a torturous death over the last decade. While it would be wrong to term Bad Neighbours as only a “sex comedy”, it does try to throw in as many sex related jokes as possible, all of which are too juvenile to be appreciated even by teenagers. There’s nudity for the sake of nudity and everything simply feels forced. The same holds true for the remainder of the plot. There’s a humane touch to everything as Teddy and Pete, nearing the end of their college life, face an identity crisis and this tangent seems out of place and unnecessary for a comedy film of this level.
Seth Rogen and Rose Byrne try their best to be adults who are coming to terms with being parents and realising that they no longer have the freedom to do everything they once did. Unfortunately, be it the role or otherwise, if you’ve seen Rogen in one of his comedies then you are not likely to find anything original here. Zac Efron on the other hand plays the poster boy role of the fraternity leader just right, not going the clichéd route by having a certain unfamiliar maturity to the character. Dave Franco, try as he might, doesn’t give a lasting impression and provides a supporting role that could have been played by any of the numerous young stars in the industry.
Bad Neighbours is a film that presents numerous possibilities and there are moments which are truly laugh-out-loud, but they are so rare that the events that take place in-between leave you wondering about the entire purpose of the film. I found it hard to categorise the film based on who will eventually appreciate it; it doesn’t really appeal to the sex comedy admirers, nor to the hipster Pineapple Express audience, and thus it dangles between genres, trying to fit into a mould that makes Bad Neighbours an all-round less favorable watch.