Film Review: Bad Neighbours

A Buggy Stroll On The Wild Side

It could be very easy (and lazy) to write off the latest Seth Rogan silver screen comedy vehicle ‘Bad Neighbours’ (directed by Nicholas Stoller) as a base, potentially puerile affair, but then again that’s one of it’s finest attributes. It’s also full of heart, breast milk, honesty, societal awareness, non stop laughs both VERY high, and flaccid low. Oh! It also owns lactation jokes forever more. What more could you possibly want, besides being burped?

Effectively a coming-of-parent-age movie, Mac Radner (Seth Rogan) and Kelly Radner (Rose Byrne) are overjoyed that life ‘seems’ to have nicely slotted into place in whatever the idyllic barometer of social success magazine check list de jour dictates. Ticking off yet another ‘to do’ on the list and descent into ‘maturity’ is settling into the apparently delightful neighbourhood, where they have chosen to nest and start filling Norman Rockwell scenes with their rugrat(s) (it has to be said though, that the gorgeous baby who plays their child will make you broody/clucky). The pink icing on their cake of luck is the arrival of a gay couple next door, enabling them to tick the box of liberal modernity.

So they think.

bad neighbours film review

As life is always messy, and it’s only movies/media that promote a wishlist to success (ie manufacturers selling you a ‘life’ via products), they don’t have a dream gay couple moving in, and instead have a nightmare fraternity house neighbours helmed by Teddy Sanders (Zac Efron) and Pete (Dave Franco). With Teddy’s only true life goal being to attain the glory of a party wall of fame, things can only get really not better.

Initial genuine pleasantries and bonding between the neighbourhood generations begin to fall by the wayside once Mac reneges on a civil code all parties had made about, well parties. It’s here that the movie really explodes into (airbag) gear as the movie goes all ‘War Of The Roses’ (1989, Douglas and Turner at their finest) as each group retaliates into ever sinking acts of behaviour trying to seek revenge, both maturity and immaturity coming from all concerned. There’s some ingenious stuff of sabotage and survival coming from the two factions as the Petty Wars unfold.

It’s not going to win any major awards anywhere, but it’s really great fun. Everyone is on top form, and clearly had a brilliant time making the movie. Woven in between sex aids and ultra un-conservative behaviour is topics of success, failure, dreams and ultimately enlightenment (to varying degrees or lack of), where one person’s belief in a bawdy comedy is another’s great laugh at the cinema with friends, whilst of course the babysitter is at home, hopefully trowing a party.


Bad Neighbours is out tomorrow (3rd May 2014) .

Steve Clarke

Born in Celtic lands, nurtured in art college, trained by the BBC, inspired by Hunter S. Thompson and released onto the battlefront of all things interesting/inspiring/good vibes... people, movies, music, clubbing, revolution, gigs, festivals, books, art, theatre, painting and trying to find letters on keyboards in the name of flushthefashion. Making sure it's not quite on the western front... and beyond.

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