I was a pretty big fan of the original Neighbors and thought it was a nice departure from Seth Rogen's usual fare. It still had plenty of stoner humor and crude jokes left and right but it was nice to see Rogen himself in more of an adult setting. Albeit a very immature man on the verge of fatherhood but Rogen in the film was a house owner, a new father and held a nine to five desk job. As we've grown up with his crass humor so has Rogen grown to adapting it to more adult scenarios and juxtaposes it with the freshness of youth as Zach Efron's character just can't let go of his past victories and lead himself into adulthood. It's a great flick which is pretty much about growing up. Becoming who you are supposed to be and finding yourself in the world that you've built around you. Many of Rogen's films have heart but Neighbors to me had the most of it and was a film that could carry itself with two generations, especially with one of my favorite jokes of Zach Efron thinking of Christian Bale as Batman and Rogen thinking Batman is Michael Keaton. Boy vs. Manchild. College Flick Vs. Parenthood Flick! How do you one up it? Change it to a battle of not only Youth vs. Age but a battle of the sexes! Adds a whole other layer to the heart of the story and many other jokes that push the envelope that I guarantee you won't see in too many other flicks. If you thought Christopher Mintz-Plasse using his penis as a choker on a girl pushed the envelope, wait until you see what these sorority girls through at Seth Rogen and Rose Byrne's window!

0002-neighbors-2-ew_0Mac and Kelly have situated their lives pretty well since last we saw them and in an amazingly awkward sex scene we learn that Kelly is pregnant with a second girl! Of course because of this news they have to find another house that will accommodate their growing family. At the same time Teddy who had been their fraternity tormentor is having a hard time adjusting to a more adult life as all of his fraternity brothers have gone onto bigger and better mulit-million dollar companies or are getting hitched. Unable to bear a life without bro-ing out he runs off into the night barefoot, crying and flexing his muscles back to their old sorority house. Shelby, Beth and Nora are freshman in college who are having a hard time fitting in, especially into the sorority that seems more like an instructional on how to be men's lap dogs than be their own people. No smoking, girls can't throw parties and girls can't be loud. The dorms suck, the frat guys suck and there is little to no room for them to spread their wings and learn who they want to be. Shelby has the bright idea to begin their own sorority where they can do whatever they want, whenever they want and form the bonds of sisterhood without compromising who they are. They find Teddy's old fraternity house for sale, with him still in it and the three of them together with Teddy's help decide to rage on through the night to help keep their newly sorority alive and gain new members! Unfortunately while Mac and Kelly's house is sold, they have a 30 day clause in which the buyers can come by at any time in that period and decide whether they want to buy it or not. Of course they can't sell the house that's next door to the 24 hour sorority party, so it's up to Mac and Kelly along with their friends to shut down Teddy's dreams of keeping the party going through Shelby and her friends!

19-114408-neighbors_2_official_trailerThat's a hell of a lot going on right there. From the trailers you get a small sense of a simple gender swap in the plot but so much more is put into this film and as it unfolded before me I worried that maybe it would be too much all at once but I'm happy to say I was extremely wrong and pleasantly surprised! As I said before you have the two layers from the first movie, Mac and Kelly still worry they are horrible parents and focus on tearing down the kids that represent their youth instead of being rational and finding a simple solution. Teddy can't let go of his past so much that he is clinging onto anything that could resemble his past completely refusing to grow up in any way shape or form, even when there are certain paths laid before him. Then we have the third layer. While the world has progressed and women's rights get better by the day, colleges especially will tell them there is a certain way they should act and be. College life for both fraternities and sororities have these problems, dress like this, act like this or you are not right. From the moment, Chloe Grace Moretz's Shelby lights up a joint on screen in the middle of a sorority meeting, is forced to put it out and is told only frats throw the parties and sororities aren't allowed to, you really start feeling for her and her friends. They want the right to be themselves, they want to go to a party without the worry of being sexualized by every single guy in the place. So with the two story arcs of trying to grow up and discover who you are, you also have this third one of trying to be able to freely express who you are and learn who you want to be. It's an amazing balance that never cheats any arc and is filled with both comedy and heart.

neighbors_2_73457The only thing wrong with the movie is not even a criticism of the movie and if anything is telling of how good it is. There is no one you don't want to root for! The closest to being one sided it Shelby and her friends are such underdogs especially compared to the frat in the first film you can't help but root for them against everyone else! You feel so bad for Shelby and her problems with the hierarchy of the sexes, so much so you want her and her friends to take down the "old people." That will be the easiest group for everyone to root for. Now if you have been around for a while and consider yourself one of these "old people" you will most definitely have a hard time deciding because you have gone through all three stages of growing up represented in this film. We've all been the awkward new kids in college trying to find their place in the world. Some of us have gone through Teddy's predicament where you see all your friends becoming more successful than you leading amazing lives as you just want to simply keep the party going. Then there are some of us who have made families and constantly question if we are adequate adults. Partly angered by the youth for what they have and coming to irrational conclusions on how to handle situations that involve them. This ability to balance everything so perfectly and make you fight yourself internally on who to root for I have to give complete credit to the amazing writing team of Rogen, Evan Goldberg, Andrew Jay Cohen and Brendon O'Brian. All writers on the first Neighbors and this time they also brought in director Nicholas Stoller to contribute to the script. Stoller of course having helmed the first Neighbors as well as one my personal favorite films Forgetting Sarah Marshall.

Neighbors 2Now you ask, "Freddy as you babble about plot points, story arcs, women's rights and balanced scripting and directing, is this funny or not?" Let me tell you people this is one of the funniest damn movies I have seen all year. I was laughing my ass off throughout the flick and one of my personal favorite moments was when Chloe Grace Moretz puts her badass Hit Girl skills to use chasing both Zach Efron and Seth Rogen down Terminator style to the tune of the Beastie Boy's Sabotage! Then she decks a creepy clown square in the face and knocks his ass out cold. Anybody who hates clowns rejoice right there. One of the things I loved about this flick was you got a lot of comedy from a female perspective that you only normally get from TV shows like Broad City. What do girls do for awesome sorority parties when it's just them boozing and acting crazy as hell? They dress up like Oprah and hide beers under people's chairs! You get a beer! You get a beer! And you get beer! Only a taste of the awesomeness you will receive in this flick! I don't want to sit here and have you reading every joke and bit that made me laugh, I'll just say it was funny as hell and it had a hell of a lot more genuine heart and thought process behind it than most comedies you will see nowadays so definitely go check it out! You say sequels can't be good? I say this is the Empire Strikes back of comedies, far funnier than the last and way more heart! Five broken Rogen Bongs out of five!