03rd May2014

Bad Neighbours – Film

by timbaros
images-161What would you do if a fraternity house moved in right next door to you?
This is the dilemna faced by Mac and Kelly Radner (played to perfection like a real couple by Seth Rogen and Rose Byrne). They live on a quiet, tree-lined street with their absolutely adorable daughter Stella, who is perhaps the cutest baby ever to appear on screen. One day, they look outside the window and see a moving truck at the house next door. They go outside to see who is moving in, in the hopes that it is a couple, with children, hopefully playmates for their baby girl. Instead what they encounter is a bunch of young men moving into the house, not just young men who are sharing the house but an actual college fraternity. The men belong to a fraternity with a reputation for being the rowdiest at the nearby university. They are led by the handsome and hot Teddy Sanders (Zac Effron – playing himself). He’s intent, in his year as Fraternity president, on getting his term as president on fhe fraternity’s  wall of fame. Helping him to break party records is his second in command Pete (Dave Franco – younger brother and lookalike of James Franco).
Mac and Kelly and attempt to make piece with their new next door neighbours by greeting them when they move in. They also casually and cautiously tell them to keep the noise down. The boys agree, on the condition that if they are making too much noise, that Mac and Kelly should call them first instead of calling the police. So for a short time they are very friendly neighbours, where Mac and Kelly go over and hang out and get stoned, reliving their college days, oh not too long ago. Then one night the frat house hosts a massive party, very loud music, lots of lights, fireworks, and with many college kids spilling out of the house. Mac and Kelly call the cops anonymously, but when the cops arrive, they tell the boys that it was their next door neighbours (Mac and Kelly) who called to complain. Caller ID!
This leads to a campaign by the boys to retaliate against the Radners. And retaliate they do. They don’t stop having parties, in fact their parties get wilder, including pool parties in a newly-built pool in their backyard, complete with scantily clad young men and women. Another of their retaliation techniques is to remove the airbags from Kelly’s car into cushions in their house and in chairs at Mac’s place of business. How they got into the car, into the house, and into Mac’s place of business  is not explained. What are the Radner’s going to do? They can’t raise cutey Stella living next door to these crazy bunch of college kids? Should they move or continue to complain to the police? They do neither and decide to play along with them and their game.
Bad neighbours is a comedy, in case you couldn’t figure it out. But the jokes are not really that funny. Sure, there are lots of college jokes about girls, penises, sex, penises, etc…but the jokes get pretty lame quickly. And when you think the film is actually over, another plot point is introduced and you have to endure another 20 minutes for the plot point to play itself out….so Bad Behavior feels longer than it’s 97 minutes. The boys, especially Effron and Franco, don’t have much to do except stand around, most of the time with their shirts off, and tell the other boys what to do. But Rogen and Byrne save the movie. They have great onscreen chemistry, and if there was another movie with just them and their baby it would be much much better….but as it is stands now Bad Neighbors is just another Zac Effron teen comedy. It’s about time he grows up into adult roles.