I’m not going to lie: the first 3 times I saw the trailer for this movie in theatres, I believed it was a car commercial for at least 20 seconds. Each time. But then it would dawn on me that this was a sequel to a movie I thought was okay. I could hardly remember it but was sure I’d seen it. And probably didn’t hate it because vitriol lingers longer than indifference (and if you’re doing it right, love).
So on Saturday night, Sean and I went to the drive-in, where we were forced to watch 2 shit movies called X-Men Apocalypse and whatever Divergent one is most recent. And across the lawn, in my peripheral vision, the French screen was playing Neighbours 2. Only I didn’t know what they were playing, I just knew that I’d just seen some chick throw up on some dude’s face (I generously warned Sean not to look). Since I’d already survived what had to have been the worst scene in the movie, I figured, why not give the rest a gander.
If you’re susceptible to vomit scenes, squish your eyes shut for the first 130 seconds. Fight through that and you’ll be won over by a cock’n’dildo joke.
The premise: the old people next door, Seth Rogen and Rose Byrne, are pregnant with their second child and moving on up. Their house is in escrow, so they’re 30 days away from escape. The bad news? Just when they’ve gotten rid of last movie’s Zac Efron-led fraternity, in comes a Zac Efron-led sorority. And is it possible that sororities are WORSE than frats?
The writing on this is wonky. The jokes are pretty solid and I laughed throughout but the script that connects the jokes is a lot weaker. They’re trying like mad to make this the “feminist” raunchy comedy. Did you know that in the U.S., sororities aren’t allowed to party in their own houses? They have to go to frats for that, which is a pretty rapey solution to a shitty, sexist problem. But that’s mostly just lip service. The meat is in the millennials vs. old people situation, even though technically, Seth Rogen is a still grazing millennial status himself (gross!) and Rose Byrne has maybe a baby toe in Generation X. But laughing at millennials is hilarious. The dumb, social media-fixated, instagram-obsessed, teenaged millennials who don’t know anything about the world yet. So the old folks are doing what parents do best: stopping young people from having fun.
Sure it’s tired material. But Rogen & Byrne have the kind of chops that make this thing enjoyable. Are the best parts in the trailer? Of COURSE they are. Isn’t that par for the course these days? Somebody needs to tell movie trailer makers that nobody buys the cow if you’re giving the milk away for free. Except me. I love buying livestock. I practically hoard it. I didn’t even mean to see this one, remember? I just got roped into it when I was paying to see two other movies I had no interest in seeing. Wait – am I single-handedly saving Hollywood by compulsively buying movie tickets?
Anyway. Brainless, harmless. Funny in spots. Excellent use of a Beastie Boys song (but I mean, you can never go wrong with the Beastie Boys). And Zac Efron refuses to take Sean’s advice to keep his shirt on once in a while, if that floats your pontoon. But probably not theatre-worthy. You can afford to rent this one later. Baby oil optional.