Neighbors movie poster

Quite possibly the most conventional and conservative comedy featuring two straight dudes engaged in a dildo swordfight you'll see all year. Director Nicholas Stoller's (Forgetting Sarah Marshall) story of a ludicrous "battle" between new parents (Seth Rogen and an uncommitted Rose Byrne) and the freshly transplanted fraternity next door lets cheerful raunch take the place of anything resembling an edge. You'll probably laugh, and you may even squirm, but it's unlikely that you'll pause to think. The real battle, of course, is not between Cool Dad Rogen and Frat King Zac Efron, but between manboys and the looming, dreaded necessity of growing up, getting a job, being a parent, and all the rest of it. Outrageous message: don't fear the Reaper, just decide that you love brunch. Telling detail: the baby winds up as a pop-culture calendar prop in the final scene. Efron, always striving, makes the most of his role as a surprisingly sensitive stud. 2014.

Matthew Lickona

This movie is not currently in theaters.

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