When they endure a harrowing five minutes inside the carnival of macabre sexist pleasures that is a frat party, college friends Shelby (Chloë Grace Moretz) and her new pals Beth (Kiersey Clemons) and Nora (Beanie Feldstein) take off to smoke weed in their dorm room and hatch a plan to start their own sorority, Kappa Nu. Meanwhile, the inept/typical parents/adults from Neighbors, Kelly (Rose Byrne) and Mac (Seth Rogen), think they’re in the clear: The frat next door, along with Teddy (Efron) and his brothers, is long gone, and Kelly and Mac have bought a new house, anyway, and sold the old one. Unfortunately, they don’t know what “escrow” means and discover that they have to keep up appearances on their old house for 30 days just when Shelby and the gang’s makeshift sorority opens up next door with one objective: to party on their own terms.
And party they do, but not exactly in the ways you might expect after seeing the Spring Breakers–like trailers. A hilarious montage showcases the sorority sisters’ a capella karaoke soirees, The Fault in Our Stars cryfests and a laugh-out-loud funny “Feminist Hero” costume party, where the power of Oprah is invoked and three people (including Efron's Teddy) dress as Hillary Clinton. Teddy has joined ranks with the sisters after his bro Pete (Dave Franco) gets engaged to his boyfriend and kicks Teddy out. That's right: Pete is gay, and for once, in a studio comedy, queerness is incidental rather than a joke. Like real life.
Shelby's crew proves wickedly endearing. Feldstein’s performance as the adrenaline-powered ball of sunshine and pain pills invites comparisons to Aidy Bryant or a less
With so many women in the cast, the door’s open for new avenues of gross-out humor. A mid-coitus barf from Kelly is followed by a recurring vibrator gag where Kelly and Mac's daughter, now age two, keeps finding mommy’s bright pink dildo, prompting the couple to just dress it up like a pretty princess and call it good. Byrne, as always, is on point, but the best of these scenes by far is a
Teddy, of course, learns a lot of lessons in his time at Kappa Nu, the most salient being that frat parties’ themes always make girls play
As a writer and director, Stoller (Forgetting Sarah Marshall, The Five-Year Engagement) has long been a proponent of funny women and people of color. This film’s no different. Girl Code’s Awkwafina plays a
There’s so much good to say about Neighbors 2 that it's easy to overlook some flat punchlines, like the lackluster ending to a drawn-out text-messaging prank. Even then, Kelly and Mac’s relationship is hashtag #marriagegoals. Meanwhile, the complexity of feminism for young girls today is displayed with rare hilarity and insight. Nobody captures the spirit of it all better,