From seeing the first trailer of this movie and getting a glimpse of the overall premise, I knew this was going to be a fun National Lampoons Animal House/Porky’s film meets the stoner comedy genius of Nicholas Stoller (Get Him to The Greek, Forgetting Sara Marshall). The movie starts out with a 30 something couple that are new parents living the suburban lifestyle of quiet homes and boring 9-5 jobs. The Radner couple are portrayed by Mac (Seth Rogen (This is The End, Knocked Up) and Kelly(Rose Byrne (Bridesmaids, Insidious, X-men: First Class) who are still trying to grasp a piece of their youth, considering their new responsibilities. With a few sad attempts at mingling with their close friends, in comes the new next door neighbor that will liven up the community, and may be the answer that Mac and Kelly Radner have been waiting for. The “heart throb” fraternity tri-fecta of Teddy (Zac Efron (Charlie St. Cloud), Pete (Dave Franco (Now You See Me, 21 Jump Street), and Scoonie (Superbad, Kick-Ass) are next door with their own goals in mind, to party, and to become frat legends by throwing the “Ultimate” party. Mac and Kelly don’t want to come off as “old timers” or outlandish, so they meet the new neighbors to lay down some ground rules. Like most 30 year olds, they dress to impress with hipster shades and baggy sweat pants to fit in. At first, Teddy and the gang seem like a good group of kids, but that evolves much faster than planned. Mac and Kelly party hard with the Frat the first night and involve themselves with hallucinogenic drugs and alcohol. After continuous nights of the partying fiasco and loud music, the Radners have had enough of their baby not sleeping and being up at all hours of the night. Mac and Kelly get the cops involved. That aggravates Teddy and the fraternity, as you can imagine. THIS MEANS WAR…….
There are many failed hazing tactics from both parties including Mac and Kelly breaking the Frat’s waterline and causing thousands of dollars of damage to their property. Like most fraternities, they use their college education (or lack thereof) to put some ideas together to raise money. In comes the plaster penis……yes, I said it….plaster penis. All members of the Frat created plaster models of their genitalia and sold to the female student body of the college, and even Kelly Radner picked up a prop to add to the home décor. The guys were able to raise over 10 k in earnings, and thought to myself I am really in the wrong business! At this point of the movie, the entire audience was gasping with laughter, including my Nerdlocker counterpart.The entire film had its great comeback lines and found it hard to not laugh at the raunchy-potty jokes, including the 3 minute “bro’s over hoes” rhyming scheme between Teddy and Pete. Growing up in the Midwest, I had my share of run-ins with Frats and their over the top, half-naked parties, but this movie made me feel bad for them. Some moments Teddy was so sincere with his fellow frat mates, that you weren’t sure if he was going to make out with them, or really did actually care for their well-being.
It was a relief to see Seth Rogen transition out of the normal “pot-smoking couch potato” character into a cool and quirky parent, with the added Rogen movie analogy one liners. Rogen and Efron made a surprisingly great combination and couldn’t stop laughing the whole movie. But I thought Rose Byrne was the breakout character of this movie with her thick Australian accent and always being one-step ahead of her husband, Mac, in every way possible. She outdid her counterpart with comedic integrity, suave, and sexiness that seduced the likings of Pete and Teddy’s girlfriend into making some unforgettable decisions. As Mac and Kelly tried to manipulate their way into breaking up the frat and getting them out of the neighborhood, they started to lose themselves, and almost compromised their relationship.
There were great dance off sequences, self erection shenanigans, and Robert Deniro cosplay that made you wish you were at the party. I really enjoyed this film from start to finish and was really surprised, to be quite honest. Most comedies today are just about overbearing comedic performances with no real premise or substance. This movie was different in the fact that there was a well-written comedy, a great ensemble, and a heartfelt story line. We can all relate to being in the early twenties and trying to live every moment like it’s your last by doing everything you can to NOT acknowledge the future. Like Kelly, Mac, and Teddy, growing older is not ideal and wanting to hold onto your youth as long as you can. As the credits rolled, the audience left the theater with stomach pains from laughing too hard, and everyone seemed to love it, like myself.
I want everyone to check this movie out if you’re looking for a fun filled comedy that pokes fun at the “bro” culture. Thank you Nicholas Stoller for another “beer pong” induced coma filled with laughs, laughs, and more laughs.
Check out the trailer:
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