Movie review – Bad Neighbours: The baby and the (frat) bathwater

2014-07-27 15:00

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Bad Neighbours

Director: Nicholas Stoller

Starring: Seth Rogen, Zac Efron, Rose Byrne


In Bad Neighbours, young couple Kelly (Rose Byrne) and Mac (Seth Rogen) navigate the difficulties that come with being the first couple in their group of friends to become parents.

Although this means forgoing wild parties with their child-free buddies and living a quieter life, the two are thrilled to be parents of their cute-as-a-button baby, Stella.

Then a rowdy fraternity house moves in next door.

At first, Mac and Kelly want to appear cool. I mean, it wasn’t so long ago that they were at university themselves?–? and you’d better believe they rocked.

So could it be such a stretch that they could get along with the students?

Unfortunately, they find out the hard way that loud music and a baby who needs to sleep just don’t mix.

When the couple is forced to call the police during a rowdy party when the frat boys just won’t keep it down, an all-out war ensues.

Mac and Kelly plot to have the fraternity dissolved and out of the neighbourhood. The student house?–?headed by arrogant frat head Teddy (Zac Efron)?– fights back with full-on prank warfare.

Why did this movie resonate with me so much? Is it because, at 26, I am thoroughly no longer a student?

That period between leaving university and entering the working world is a tenuous one. You realise that even if you wanted to, your body just won’t party like it used to. That all the things you used to love doing, like staying awake till 3am, you now hate. That, yes, you are getting older.

Once a young couple has a baby, there’s no chance of even dabbling in that old life again.

Watching the two trying to be both?–?cool party animals and good parents – makes it all the more clear that sometimes you just can’t have your bread buttered on both sides.

Bad Neighbours also excellently portrays married couple Mac and Kelly in a nonstereotypical way. Unlike most comedies, including the nauseatingly bad Grown Ups and Hall Pass, the husband doesn’t get all the comedy scenes while the wife plays the naggy buzzkill always rolling her eyes.

Mac and Kelly are not only married, but they actually like each other (gasp!) They laugh together, joke together and make a great team.

In fact, the gender roles wives and husbands so often fall into are actually addressed in a scene in the movie.

Kelly laments that she always has to be the worrier, the responsible one looking out for the family, while Mac gets to be the man-child.

Rose Byrne, who I first noticed as Kristen Wiig’s rival in Bridesmaids, is truly piquing my interest.

She is a comic actress with impeccable timing and is hilarious in her own right. She stands up well against experienced funnyman Rogen.

Rogen’s previous comedies, including Funny People and Knocked Up, tended to come off as a little cynical and mean-spirited.

Bad Neighbours sometimes falls into that trap. But luckily this time it is saved by an incredibly perceptive, intelligent script and laugh-out-loud hilarity between the main actors.

Definitely worth a watch.

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions. publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.