By Stefanie Sybens (Belgium)
Nicholas Stoller’s new comedy Bad Neighbours features stars Zac Efron and Seth Rogen. The movie starts off by showing suburbanites Mac (Seth Rogen) and Kelly (Rose Byrne) trying to maintain the sparkle in their relationship. After their newborn, routine and fatigue sneaks into their daily lives so when a fraternity club – lead by Teddy (Zac Efron) – moves in the house next door, panic is being raised since this group is characterized by drunken behaviour and their loud noise.
Despite their differences, Mac and Kelly come to greet the new neighbours while they are giving a party and finding themselves somewhat jealous of the life they once lived. They join this wild bunch on their first party and towards the end of the evening, Mac and Teddy have already bonded and promised to always call the boys if something is wrong, never the police. But still, fraternity boys will be fraternity boys.
During another wild party, Mac and Kelly have tried calling them numerous times to calm things down but they won’t stop. They take matters into own hands and call the police to shut things down. The following day, Delti Psi members make our young couple clear war is on by playing several pranks on them. Mac and Kelly decide to go to the college dean (Lisa Kudrow) where she informs the couple they maintain a three strike policy where burning their former house down was Delta Psi’s first strike. Mac and Kelly want the boys to move as soon as possible but they have already made clear they are going nowhere. This is where Kelly develops a new plan by letting Pete (Teddy’s best friend) have sex with Brooke (Teddy’s girlfriend).
Meanwhile, the barbecue at the fraternity house goes wrong when a professor gets hurt so strike two has been handed over. Teddy won’t be bothered anymore and starts to plan the end-of-the-year bash. Mac and Kelly once again call the police to complain about the noise but that’s when Teddy finds out what they are doing and starts to shut things down. Mac and Kelly notice this and sneak into Teddy’s bedroom to turn the music back on. Teddy catches them and a fight breaks out but Kelly manages to set off some firework and that’s when the patrol car steps in. Teddy takes the blame and persuades the other members to flee. Meanwhile, peace is restored at the young couple’s house. A couple of months later, Mac arrives at the mall when he runs into Teddy who’s working as a shirtless greeter for Abercrombie & Fitch and they finally make amends.
This comedy works due to its strong cast but this genre slowly develops into slapstick where a few side jokes are not able to save the not so very convincing plot.