Rogen, Efron clash with cringe-worthy comedy in ‘Neighbors’

Kelly (Rose Byrne) and Mac (Seth Rogen) take their baby (Elise or Zoey Vargas) to visit the fraternity members who move in next door in "Neighbors." (AP Photo/Universal Pictures, Glen Wilson)

Kelly (Rose Byrne) and Mac (Seth Rogen) take their baby (Elise or Zoey Vargas) to visit the fraternity members who move in next door in “Neighbors.” (AP Photo/Universal Pictures, Glen Wilson)

By M. Scott Morris

Daily Journal

You need to be comfortable with certain four-letter words, as well as portions of the male and female anatomies, to enjoy “Neighbors.”

You also need to appreciate the kind of humor that causes you to cringe and shift in your seat before releasing you with big belly laughs.

Seth Rogen and Rose Byrne are Mac and Kelly Radner, a party-happy pair who’ve recently had a baby.

They’ve put their money in a suburban house, and they’re trying to adapt to the quiet life.

Things get loud when a fraternity moves in next door. It’s good at first, as Mac and Kelly welcome the new neighbors and spend a wild night with Teddy (Zac Efron), Pete (Dave Franco) and the rest.

The problem is the noise doesn’t stop, and an ongoing and hilarious feud develops, along with a steady stream of cringe-worthy moments.

It’s uncomfortable just watching Mac and Kelly plan their next move, then that sense of anxiety shoots up when they put the plan into action.

I don’t know how the relationship between Rogen and Byrne works, but it does. They feel like they belong together in this film.

Efron and Franco’s characters have their own subplot that’s funny and actually becomes something close to touching by the end.

Credit should go to the parents of Zoey and Elise Vargas, who play baby Stella. I’d hate to be the one to decide when my little girls will get to watch the movie they starred in, but I’d love to be there for that conversation and the screening that followed.

I realized an important connection about this movie when the fraternity brothers hold a Robert De Niro party, where they all impersonate De Niro from different movies.

Franco’s character channels the father from “Meet the Fockers,” a movie that is the very definition of comedy by embarrassment.

“Neighbors” relies too much on the same type of humor for my taste. This movie will come on cable someday and I’ll have no interest in sitting through it again.

But I was entertained the first time, so I give “Neighbors” a B.

It’s showing at the Cinemark in Tupelo, as well as Malcos in Oxford, Corinth and Columbus, Hollywood Premier Cinemas in Starkville and Movie Reel 4 in New Albany.

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