Neighbors Movie Review

Seth Rogen Movie Neighbors

Neighbors – Frat vs. Family

Bill Wine Neighbors Movie Review

According to a review written by Bill Wine, the upcoming film Neighbors by director Nicholas Stoller (of Get Him to the Greek and Fun with Dick and Jane), starring Seth Rogen and Zack Efron, is just a little too similar to the fraternity parties. The film seems as though it could truly be an enduring success—it’s loud, energetic, chaotic and, most importantly, though it might in actuality be a lot less fun than it sounds.

Neighbors Movie Plot

The plot of Neighbors is rather simple: the film sets up a revenge scenario that continually escalates until it goes beyond control. Battle commences between Teddy Sanders—played by Zac Efron as the president of the Delta Psy Kappa fraternity, and a local family, the Radnors who are played by Seth Rogan and Rose Byrne. The Radnors are the quiet family next door just settling into the suburbs to raise their first child.  The Radnors introduce themselves and establish a disclaimer that their own party days are not so far in the past; they assure Sanders they will not begrudge him his good time.

Neighbors Movie Tone

Their tone changes at the first all night party that results in no sleep for them or their infant.  The cops are called and war quickly starts and escalates steadily forward.  From there, battles continually erupt; no prank is too cruel or crude.

While Wine says that a paper-thin plot is to be expected in this genre, that doesn’t mean the characters must be as well.  The actions and measures taken by the characters in the increasingly ridiculous pranks leads the film to feel as if the characters are in some form of an alternative universe, where characters serve to nothing other than fulfill tropes and generic movie roles instead of portraying three dimensional, relatable human beings.

Neighbors Movie Script

The script, constructed by Andrew J. Cohen and Brendan O’Brien, is also an issue for Wine, who declares it definitively raunchy, relying far too much on slapstick humor and gross-out gags to be considered a feature.  While these components may succeed in the likes of The Three Stooges and Tom and Jerry, it isn’t fit the bill for a Hollywood Blockbuster.  Instead, Wine believes it will be most suited as background noise, residing on the television screens at fraternity parties in a cruel sense of irony and sense of disappointment.

Themes in The Big Lebowski

The Coen Brothers’ film The Big Lebowski is no doubt a cult favorite and generally a stellar film that will go down Harry Dalian, The Big Lewbowskiin history as one of the most memorable and unique. One of its greatest pleasures is that The Big Lebowski is one of those films you can watch over and over again because you love it, and at the same time, it is one of those films you can, and should, watch over and over again to pick up on more subtle themes and “easter eggs”.

If you’re one of the ones who’s watched it over and over again, excellent. Check out this list and let me know what you think. If you’re not, here are a few themes in The Big Lebowski you might have missed:

Castration as a ThemeHarry Dalian, Scissors Big Lebowski

Throughout the film you’ll realize that the male characters the story follows are not the impressive or enviable protagonists one would normally encounter in a hollywood film. The men in the film are portrayed as incompetent and even physically disabled. In contrast, the female characters were written to be more powerful than the men, or out of their control, in the case of bunny.

Imagery that illustrates the theme of castration in The Big Lebowski can be found in multiple places. When we first meet Maude Lebowski, the dude enters her studio, and before we see her hoisted up to the ceiling “painting” from above, held up by two men with pulleys, we see a giant painting of scissors. The introduction to scissors as an image of castration is here, and also recurs in Lebowski’s drea sequence when he is chased by a man with giant scissors. The three thugs after Lebowski also threaten to castrate him (humorously) if he doesn’t comply with their plan.

Ringing Phone

Throughout the film, The Dude’s phone is almost constantly ringing. What you’ll notice, though, is that he doesn’t answer it. The dude, perhaps, knows he’ll learn whatever it is eventually, and this is shown when the police are at his house and Maude calls him, “I am the one who took your rug”.

Tumbleweed and BowlingHarry Dalian, Tumbleweed

There’s no secret that tumbleweed makes an appearance, as it is the image that guides us into the film: we follow a blowing tumbleweed across the dessert finally toward a large reveal of the extensively lit city of Los Angeles. Remember, though, that Lebowski is essentially of the same character of the tumbleweed: without aim, just rolling with the wind wherever it takes him.

When Lebowski and his Bowling team discuss going to “roll”, their big obsession with bowling may pay homage and draw comparison to the life of a tumbleweed.