2014 Running time: 97 Certificate: 15 Rating: 4

Synopsis

Seth Rogen and Rose Byrne play the easygoing new parents who reach the end of their tether when a raucous college fraternity moves in next door. Zac Efron is the 24-hour party guy who makes their life hell, leading to a tit-for-tat conflict that gets way out of hand. The second commandment goes out of the window as Animal House meets Parenthood in this terrifically rude'n'crude comedy from the director of Forgetting Sarah Marshall.

Director

  • Nicholas Stoller

Cast

  • Seth Rogen

  • Zac Efron

  • Rose Byrne

  • Dave Franco

  • Christopher Mintz-Plasse

  • Lisa Kudrow

Review

Stupid, irresponsible, sweary, puerile, overloaded with pop culture references, and shamefully funny: Friday night just found its perfect partner.

As has perennial adolescent Seth Rogen, here finding his comedy soulmate in down-dumbing Bridesmaids star Rose Byrne.

They play Mac and Kelly, the suburban coolly-weds who are determined not to compromise their sex and social lives while raising their adorable baby girl.

But although they're still young and up for fun, they immediately start to feel their age when the local Delta Phi fraternity - led by charismatic president Teddy (Efron) - moves into the house next door.

When a friendly "keep it down" sees them invited in for the frat's first party, it seems the 'oldies' have got the kids onside. But when the festivities continue the following night, Mac is forced to break his promise to Teddy and calls the cops. And if there's one thing Teddy is not cool with, it's a broken pledge.

Thus the war for the neighbourhood begins as Teddy conducts an escalating campaign of embarrassment and harassment against the beleaguered couple while they try to break up the fraternity by any means necessary - fair or foul.

Unfortunately for Mac and Kelly, the university's dean (Lisa Kudrow) has an answer for everything and their attempts to set the Delta Phis against one another just seem to make the brotherhood stronger.

While most of the gags are aimed between the legs - from plaster-cast boners and lewd hedge sculptures to nunchaka dildos and condoms as a choking hazard - the slapstick also delivers plenty of cartoonish LOLs (hidden airbags pack a particularly amusing punch).

Elsewhere, a Robert De Niro party and a Garfield-loving cop provide but two of many other random descents into silliness.

Sustained by the atmosphere of profanity, bromance and pot smoke, Rogen is the proverbial pig in muck, given free rein to riff on whatever comes into his head, whether it's doing impressions of Michael Keaton's Batman, making lame cow puns after 'milking' his lactating wife, or mocking the indefinable talents of comedy star Kevin James.

Efron also plays to his strengths, underpinning Teddy's Adonis-like charms with an unpredictable edge that occasionally comes across as hard as his abs.

Completing the casting hattrick, Byrne gives as good as she gets, grabbing the chance to revert to her naturally relaxed Aussie state after playing so many uptight Yanks... It's hard to picture many up and coming starlets whipping out boobs that "look like grandma's legs".

With laddish support from Dave Franco as Teddy's second-in-command, Christopher Mintz-Plasse as the best-endowed pledge in the house and Ike Barinholtz as Mac's bungling best pal, it's as frattishly fruity as American Pie.

As the writer of the Muppet reboots, however, director Nicholas Stoller ensures it's all done with a sense of kinship and adroitly manages to sweeten anything that might leave a bad taste.

Look, a baby crystal-meth cook - awww!

Elliott Noble

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