There’s a new neighbor in town this weekend, and it looks an awful lot like Zac Efron’s abs.
Today brings the release of “Neighbors,” director Nicholas Stoller’s new comedy starring Efron as the leader of a raucous college fraternity that moves next door to new parents played by Seth Rogen and Rose Byrne. Efron, Rogen and Byrne are all receiving high-praise for their work in the gross-out comedy, a movie that has a surprising amount of heart underneath all the filth.
Check out what the critics are saying about “Neighbors,” in theaters now:
“Back in the Stone Age – we’re talking 1978 – National Lampoon’s ’Animal House’ spoke to a generation of frat boys with a take-no-prisoners attitude toward fun. That animal spirit, embodied by John Belushi’s Bluto, raves on in the shamelessly sh–faced ’Neighbors,’ the killer party movie of the summer. Don’t worry about plot. Just let this baby rip.
“The stellar Seth Rogen is a natural for this kind of reefer madness. So it’s a jolt to see him cast as Mac Radner, a husband and new father who comes unglued when the Delta Psi Beta fraternity moves in next door. At first Mac and his wife, Kelly (Rose Byrne, a hoot as she morphs from button-downed to bonkers), try to parade their aging cool in front of frat prez Teddy Sanders (Zac Efron) and his adoring veep, Pete (an inspired Dave Franco). But when the Radners call in the cops, it’s all-out war and wall-to-wall comic raunch.” — Peter Travers, RollingStone.com
“Rogen has taken up permanent residence on the comfortable comedy couch. His puppy-dog persona continues to buy the actor lots of goodwill, even when his characters don’t deserve it. Mac isn’t a bad guy, more of a frustrated new dad pushed to extremes with no clue how to fight except by using playground rules — physical and juvenile.” — Betsy Sharkey, The Los Angeles Times
“One of the best surprises in Andrew Jay Cohen and Brendan O’Brien’s script is its refusal to succumb to lazy sitcom stereotypes, which would set Rogen up as the oafish Kevin James man-child and Byrne as the nag. Instead, Kelly is as foul-mouthed, shallow, and irresponsible as her husband. Speaking in her native Aussie twang, Byrne shows that she’s a deadpan comic ace. And thanks to her chemistry with Rogen, ’Neighbors’ proves that just because you grow up doesn’t mean you have to be a grown-up. You can still be wild and crazy even as you’re yelling at the kids next door to get the hell off your lawn.” — Chris Nashawaty, Entertainment Weekly
“Zac Efron isn’t the best or even the most surprising thing about ’Neighbors,’ but he is perhaps the most exciting. The actor’s lack of range has scuppered such recent efforts as ’The Lucky One’ and ’That Awkward Moment,’ films which asked him to show tenderness or torment. ’Neighbors’ asks no such thing: All it asks of Efron is that he be cool, calculating, dumb, and ruthless. And for once, he seems liberated. That immobile, beautiful face, long his greatest weakness as an actor (if not as a heartthrob), finally transforms into his greatest weapon.” — Bilge Ebiri, Vulture.com
The Final Word
“Many of the modern comedies that are considered classics become part of the pop culture lexicon, endlessly quoted by fans in all sorts of different contexts. I have a strong suspicion that ’Neighbors’ is going to be one of those films that is simply absorbed whole by audiences. Not only is it uproariously funny and almost breathtakingly dirty, it is better written than it needs to be on a character level, delivering completely on its premise.” — Drew McWeeny, HitFix.com