Neighbors 2: Sorority Rising

“Some of what I’d been coming across on the internet in the past couple days had me really excited for Neighbors 2. I’m not just talking about the promise of shirtless Zac Efron, though I won’t lie that it was a big motivator. No what was really getting me going was the talk about how feminist the film appeared to be. If you’ve been reading lately, you know this is something I’ve becoming increasingly more and more sensitive to. Now don’t get me wrong, I do love a good raunchy comedy as much as the next twelve year old boy, but is it possible that we have a film that delivers that level of humor while still being respectful of the girls? And not just respectful, but fully inclusive? You mean, girls play dirty too? Girls can be funny? We can have fun at a “”guy movie””? Well I’d like to think that I’m exhibit A for most of those statements, but yes Virginia, girls can run with the boys.

If you remember the first time around, Rose Byrn and Seth Rogen are a young couple with an infant, trying to start their lives together in their first home. And then a frat run by Zac Efron and Dave Franco moves in next door, and it’s all out war between the two houses. On paper, it doesn’t sound like much, but with some comedic powerhouses and a smart script, it was about as good as you can get in the genre.

Now, the frat boys have moved on, only to be replaced by a group of off-beat sorority girls now led by a perfectly cast Chloe Grace Moretz (just watch her in Kick Ass if you doubt her ability to handle the typically “”boy humor””). These gals are tired of the disrespectful and frankly unsafe frat parties they’re subjected to or the strict rules of the sorority system, so they decide to form their own. And end up making an even bigger ruckus than the former occupants of their house.

The previous Neighbors was praised for their fair utilization of Rose Byrne, not just relegating her to the sidelines or a punchline. Instead she was an equal partner in the comedy, and was a big reason why it thrived. Now we’re doubling down with Moretz bringing the funny with a whole band of thoughtful gal pals. I very much appreciate how they head on tackle the problem with the gender dynamics in college. In my college experience, I managed to avoid most of it. Dorm parties were fine, and I hardly ever went to frat parties, except for those at the BFFF’s frat and they really were nice guys. But I know that this culture is a growing concern, and showing that there is a fun alternative is a good thing.

And the movie was just funny. Again, top notch comic cast. Great writing. Nothing but a good time. Oh and Zac Efron dances shirtless. You’re welcome, ladies. If you still weren’t convinced this film didn’t have you in mind, that should have convinced you.

Oh actually, one more girl power sidebar. Besides the multiple principle writers that the screenplay had, there’s apparently a practice in comedy writing where the screenplay is taken to a sort of roundtable or committee for more input on the jokes. Seth Rogen, Evan Goldberg, and the rest of their crew made a point to include more women in the group than you would typically see. And look, we got a funny movie we can all get behind. Hooray!

Neighbors 2: Sorority Rising – \m/ \m/ \m/ \n”

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