Seth Rogen and Nicholas Stoller are responsible for some of the funniest comedies of the noughties, from 2007’s Superbad to The Five-Year Engagement (2012). Bad Neighbours (2014) marks the first time the Apatow alumni have teamed up, and on this evidence it’d be a shame if it was the last; frequently earning hearty audience laughs, both director and actor are at the top of their game in this impressive entry.
Rogen and Rose Byrne play Mac and Kelly, a young and married couple who are struggling to adjust to a quieter life with their new-born baby. Not helping matters is the arrival of the Delta Psi Beta fraternity led by Teddy (Zac Efron) and Pete (Dave Franco), who set up shop next door. In a desperate bid to avoid future squabbles, Mac and Kelly do their best to bond with their obnoxious new neighbours, even offering them a joint as a friendly welcome gift. As Delta Psi’s outrageous parties get louder and wilder however, war is declared and a myriad of pranks ensue.
Derek Cianfrance made a name for himself with 2010’s acclaimed romantic drama Blue Valentine. For his follow-up, the director has again opted for drama, this time of the familial kind, with his ambitious fourth feature The Place Beyond the Pines (2013), which makes its way to DVD stands this week.
We begin with a visually arresting long take that introduces us to Luke (Ryan Gosling), one part of a bike-riding circus act. He soon discovers that Romina (Eva Mendes) has had his baby after their one night stand the last time he was in town. Despite the fact that Romina is now with Kofi (Mahershala Ali), Luke feels entitled to his family and is desperate to provide for them. That desperation leads him to oddball mechanic Robin (another great supporting turn from Ben Mendelsohn), and soon the pair are robbing banks. This in turn puts Luke on the radar of local cop Avery Cross (Bradley Cooper).
After striking comedic gold eight years ago with Wedding Crashers, Vince Vaughn and Owen Wilson reunite for The Internship, a comedy about crashing the system at Google. In theory it sounds like a no brainer, but whilst the duo’s chemistry is still evident, this is a far more forgettable effort than their 2005 hit.
Read the rest of this review at What Culture here.