Neighbors, Moms’ Night Out – Movie Reviews

NeighborsNeighbors – R
Release Date: Fri 09 May 2014

Seth Rogen and Rose Byrne play a couple with an infant daughter who do battle with their new neighbors – a fraternity led by Zac Efron and Dave Franco. The premise works well, with almost the entire film taking place at the two houses in an average suburb. Rogen is great as a man trying to deal with his responsibilities as a husband and father while trying to keep the fun in his life. Rose Byrne is a great partner for Rogen as they have great comic chemistry with one another and Byrne gets plenty of laughs instead of being a mere supporting character. The dynamic of the couple really holds the movie together as it never devolves into one or the other pushing for a change. While the only other comedy I recall seeing Rose Byrne in was a small role in “Get Him To The Greek,” she is funny and seems to be having a good time in a part that allows her to use her native Australian accent.

Zac Efron and Dave Franco are also great partners in a different kind of family, a theme that the movie also explores. It’s a credit to an R-rated comedy with plenty of raunchy humor that it manages to explore aspects of people you choose to make “family” in our life. Efron’s got his work cut out for him keeping up with Rogen and Franco in the comedy department, but he does it well and is always the leader. Franco gets some great material both in the comedy and drama department, and his De Niro impression seen in the trailer is one of his most funny and impressive scenes.

There are some raunchy sight gags here that I won’t spoil, but have to give credit to both the creativity and genuinely funny concepts on display. (Though I should give you fair warning: there is a LOT of Seth Rogen on display.) I found the movie worked better than This Is The End by staying true to its premise and exploring it in great depth and creativity.

Cal and I saw it in the theater had a discussion in the car:

Moms' Night OutMoms’ Night Out – PG
Release Date: Fri 09 May 2014

Just in time for Mother’s Day comes a comedy about a struggling mother Allyson (Sarah Drew) trying to keep it together in the stressful job of a full-time parent. Her husband (Sean Astin) travels frequently for work, and so her only time out from mom-duty is her book club and her church. She decides to take her friend Lizzy and the pastor’s wife Sondra (played by producer Patricia Heaton) out for dinner. This sets in motion a farce of miscommunication and bad luck that sees most of the town end up following Sarah to search for her missing family and the children of the other mothers.

The problem is that nothing really happens to shake up this premise. Astin’s character is supportive but minimal. None of the children have much in the way of personalities or relationships to their mothers other than being a burden. The minor exception being a subplot about Sondra’s teenage daughter wanting to date that becomes strangely more interesting than the search for the kids or the resolution to Allyson’s problems. Instead, we get an oddly religious message about how Jesus doesn’t give moms more than they can handle and that men are well-intentioned but inept parents.

In the movie’s favor, it’s an inoffensive comedy that I can see families enjoying together as a Mother’s Day outing, but I wouldn’t go as far as to say it’s a good movie to see as a group of women friends. As far as that goes, I’d recommend last week’s The Other Woman long before this one.

Hannah and I saw it in the theater had a discussion in the car:

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