Saturday, January 16, 2021

MOVIE REVIEWS: NEIGHBORS

May 9, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

Neighbors, starring Seth Rogen, Zac Efron and Rose Byrne, may provide some unexpectedly stiff competition for The Amazing Spider-Man 2 at the box office this weekend, but it’s a winner hands-down with critics. While the superhero movie drew mixed reviews a week ago, Neighbors is basking in the glow of overwhelmingly positive notices from the nation’s leading newspaper critics. A.O. Scott in the New York Times writes that the movie amounts to a “status report on mainstream American movie comedy.” It operates, he concludes, “in a sweet spot between the friendly and the nasty, and not straining to be daring, obnoxious or even especially original. It knows how to have fun. How very grown-up.” The “fun,” say the critics, springs from the premise — a fraternity takes over a house in a suburban neighborhood. It “represents something of a watershed,” Ty Burr observes in the Boston Globe, “the moment when all those Judd Apatow bad boys tremble on the edge of maturity, look back, and see the soulless face of a younger generation gaining on them.” Similarly, Betsy Sharkey remarks in the Los Angeles Times that the movie “s filled with the perverse pleasure of watching the R-rated growing pains of Generation Next — including the young and restless comedy players in Hollywood responsible for it. … It succeeds.” Several critics compare it with the ’70s’ Animal House, including Claudia Puig in USA Today, who comments that it’s for an era in which food fights seem quaint. … Puerile, yes, smutty often, but also a lot of fun.” But several critics are apparently fed up with raunchy comedies. Ann Hornaday in the Washington Post calls it “a shaggy, baggy collegiate comedy that is less a coherent movie than a loosely assembled series of lewd jokes and punishing slapstick routines.” And Kyle Smith in the New York Post sums up the movie this way: “[It] seems to have originated in a butcher shop: It stars a slab of beef and features a whole lot of sausage jokes. To me it looks like a turkey, but it seems poised to bring home the bacon.”