“Neighbors” may not be a feminist film, but the jokes are feminist-friendly. Comedy has always concealed and undermined female characters to either alluring or anything less than funny; recent films such as “Bridesmaids,” “Pitch Perfect,” and “The Heat,” broke this stereotype. “Neighbors” for obvious reasons isn’t a female-leading film, but Rose Byrne holds her own next to the male dominated cast breaking down stereotypes of not only motherhood but in the film world of comedy as well.
Growing up can seem a little daunting; but for Mac (Seth Rogan) and Kelly (Rose Byrne) buying a new house and raising baby Stella is new and exciting and just the next steps of their marriage. When the Fraternity brothers of Delta Psi Beta showed up to the vacant house next door with Greek letters in hand, move-in boxes, and loud music, Kelly and Mac knew that they had to address them with mutual respect and authority but also “be cool” about it. Zac Efron plays alpha dog, Teddy, Delta Psi President; he’s receiving of his neighbors’ warm welcome and does so with charm and embrace as he encourages them to come and chill with no hesitation.
Being at this transitioning stage in their lives, Mac and Kelly find themselves torn between retaining the not too far forgotten joy of adolescent lifestyle and bringing a stop to the annoyance and constant disruptions of the next-door Fraternity. After calling the cops and breaking their promise, the brothers of Delta Psi do all they can to get back at Mac and Kelly.
In a scene between Kelly and Mac, Kelly calls out her husband’s immaturity and challenges the idea that women are “fixers” of relationships. This conversation provides a healthy realization that women may not be as equipped for parenting as they are assumed to be.
“I loved the film because I could relate to some of the college humor they used. My favorite part was when [Zac Efron and Dave Franco] were listing all the spinoffs of ‘bros over hoes.’” Sophomore Mikhale McCarrel enjoyed the humor and brotherhood of the film, “Seth, Zac and Dave made the movie hilarious.”
After a night partying at Delta Psi, Kelly’s breast are in a lot of pain and urges that she needs to breastfeed but can’t feed Stella because of the alcohol consumption from the previous night. The male anatomy has been a frequent point of humor for comedy since the beginning of time, and for once, dialogue centered around the female anatomy is used not for arousal purposes but for pure comedy. After relieving his wife’s pain, Mac is quick to make light of the situation with cow jokes.
“Neighbors” is full of frantic energy, hilarious lines, and amusing improvisation. Comedies more often than not, try to carry out jokes for far too long and usually end up just killing the films momentum. Director Nicholas Stoller impressively keeps a slim, chaotic plot going with non-stop wittiness and laughable moments. The comedy in “Neighbors” may not be timeless, but the take away in this film hopefully is integrating gender humor as seen in the banter to and from Mac and Kelly.
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