I was expecting Project X when I caught an afternoon matinee of Neighbors. I wanted party-party-party. I wanted mayhem. I wanted a joke, escalating into pranks, finishing with someone getting hurt. All I got though was a call to grow up.

Seth Rogan and Rose Byrne are a couple with a new born child. They don't think they're old. They're not, by the way, but they're older than Zac Efron and Dave Franco, the frat boys who move in next door. Rogan and Byrne don't want to appear old to their neighbors, so they mosey over and try to be cool old folks to the young dudes. They bring a peace offering of a joint and then they spend the rest of the night partying Project X style. Mayhem! That's what I am talking about. Except that would be the best of it.

Eventually, the neighbors call the cops on the frat boys which sour their relationship. It becomes one of escalating pranks against the old couple. The pranks! You saw the airbag joke in the trailer -- that's about it. The neighbors retaliate to get the frat kicked off campus.

The movie had the thread that everyone has to accept growing up. The neighbors needed to act their age and not join in the partying. The frat boys needed to become adults. Even Dave Franco knew.

There were weird threads in this movie that seemed to come from older drafts. The neighbors separated friends were half-in and half-out of the movie. They showed up to flesh out some funky plot points -- like the broken leg (LOL!), but they didn't make any sense to the battle of the neighbors. Also, they didn't use McLovin very well. He was just background character. Finally, the bro-mance between Efron and Franco that was some weird stuff their especially the hint late in the movie about more than just bros. Weird and out of left field.

Neighbors was a serviceable movie, but not the epic comedy I wanted. I laughed at points and I wanted to smoke a joint afterwards, but I just wanted an epic party. Sadly denied.

3 of 5 stars.

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