“When was the last time I did a write up immediately after seeing a movie? Been a while.

Mostly, catching a Fri afternoon movie was an excuse to get some nachos from the place across the street from work. Been dying for some of those. I also figured I’d invite a friend, who encourages me to give him a heads up when visiting this particular cinema since it’s in the neighborhood. Wouldn’t have pegged him for being into silly frat boy comedy, but I knew how to get him there. My invite text said that this movie “”promised lots of shirtless Zac Efron””. Know your audience!

The film was a raucous and raunchy good time. The subgenre of fraternity movies used to be held in high esteem in the comedy world, but they’ve regressed over time. This was an honorable attempt at restoring some former glory. It was clever and funny as hell. A few of the jokes may have gone a bit too far or for too long, but usually recovered, sometimes even finding gold at the end of an uncomfortable stretch. Plenty of laugh out loud moments from my usually quiet self. And said friend who was in it for the shirtless Efron seemed to have enjoyed the full package as well. By package, I mean the all around film. You perv.

Mmm Zac Efron. I’m really liking him, and not just because he’s at his absolute yummiest in this movie. He stumbled a little bit when he was younger, trying to deal with all of the High School Musical fame. But he’s come a long way career wise. Cleaned himself up after making some mistakes, and what I really respect him for is his complete honesty about the situation. He’s open about what he’s done and is serious about staying on track. He’s picked up a very serious work ethic that is serving him well.

I really liked this role for him, a slightly more villainous turn than usual. He may not be at Seth Rogen levels of comedy, but he played off him well. And not everyone in a comedy needs to be a full blown comedian. He also had Dave Franco backing him up on the frat boy side of the fence, and an almost criminally underutilized Christopher Mintz-Plasse. Rogen actually played it a bit straighter than he usually does. Or at least his character was a bit more grown up, even if his man child tendencies were constantly peeking thru. He was paired well with Rose Byrne, who grows on me more and more with each film she does. She too has figured out how to play just funny enough against someone who’s full on with the humor.

So a Friday night well spent, and not just because of the nachos

Neighbors – \m/ \m/ \m/ \m/

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