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In cinemas: BAD NEIGHBOURS (15)
11:35am Wednesday 28th May 2014 in What's On
AS one long-running Antipodean soap opera repeatedly reminds us, “everybody needs good neighbours with a little understanding”.
But the married 30-somethings at the centre of Nicholas Stoller’s potty-mouthed comedy, played by the ever-popular Seth Rogen and Rose Byrne, wish they were so fortunate.
They wake up one morning to discover their new neighbours are booze-guzzling fraternity boys who throw raucous parties for fellow students and hold barbecues on the front lawn.
Relations deteriorate between the two households in the blink of a bloodshot eye, lighting the fuse on a battle of wits and mean-spirited pranks.
Rogen might have top billing on the film’s posters, but it’s High School Musical heartthrob Zac Efron’s naked torso that scene-steals to the point of absurdity as fraternity president Teddy Sanders.
While the film goes some way to besmirching Efron’s screen image as the wholesome, squeaky clean boy next door, scriptwriters Andrew Jay Cohen and Brendan O’Brien provide the actor with a get-out clause.
Teddy ultimately remains likeable, showing a sensitive side to one new member of the frat house (Craig Roberts) when he thinks no-one else is looking.