Stepping out of Neighbors into the cold, calm, dick-joke-free real world, you might find yourself hit with a barrage of "But wait..." moments: "Why did they move into a new frat house just a month or two before the end of college?" "When was it established that she wanted to sleep with him?" "Where did that pledge come from?" "Who was that other guy?" "If he, then why?" "When did?" "How?" "What?" "Huh?!" Yeah, there are enough logical holes in Nicholas Stoller's comedy to warrant an "Everything Wrong with Neighbors" gag trailer and a dozen or two angry message threads. But the tenability of a movie's realism isn't exactly on trial when it sells itself as the Seth Rogen comedy in which a baby eats a condom.
Neighbors eagerly liberates itself not only from the laws of basic reality or tight storytelling, but also from the rigid shackles of any one comic tone. We jump from a slice of life about new parents Mac and Kelly (Rogen and Rose Byrne) who aren't quite ready to say goodbye to their youth instantly to a wild and wacky college farce about the fraternity one house over (led by Zac Efron and second banana Dave Franco), borrowing a lexicon from latter day National Lampoon. As the war picks up between these congenial neighbors-turned-close-quarters enemies, we're invited into a back and forth of vicious, albeit loony, aggression, each maneuver to "get those fogeys/punks next door" escalating in hostility, danger, and independence from earthbound possibility. As we're treated to this ceaseless exercise in human malignance, Neighbors peppers in episodes of cartoon-grade zaniness, macabre pathos, and absolute surrealism. And although it might not seem like all of these comic identities can exist in the same film, Neighbors has a special trick up its sleeve to make it all work: it's funny. Never brilliant, and rarely all that fresh, but always funny.
The frat stuff plays broad, often saddling Efron's sadomasochistic pseudo-villain, Franco's vulnerable prick, and the pair's gang of goons — a wily Christopher Mintz-Plasse and an effortlessly charming Jerrod Carmichael at the top of the heap — with the usual party flick shenanigans like dance-offs and flaming barrels of marijuana. The team of youngsters is at its best, though, when the standard routine is shirked for more peculiar fare, like an abstract non sequitur that has Franco demonstrating a bizarre biological skill, or a fractured history of drinking games as narrated through flashbacks by a passionate Efron.
A good deal of fun can be pinned on the usual assortment of physical gags, pop culture references (one extended bit plays on the film histories of Robert De Niro, Samuel L. Jackson, and Al Pacino to endearing results), and the goofball antics of supporting players like Ike Barinholtz (as Mac's zealous, dimwitted pal). But Neighbors' secret weapon is Byrne, outshining the established comedic reputations of her co-stars with her performance as Kelly. Catapulted miles from the doldrums of straight-man-hood, Byrne tops even Rogen in awkward panache (watching her struggling to interact with the younger breed early on in the movie is delightful) and diabolical villainy alike — the very biggest laughs come from Byrne unleashing her furies or executing evil schemes. If Neighbors inspires any lasting impression, it should be a new appreciation for Byrne's chops in the humor department.
Somehow, this farcical grab bag never feels lethally convoluted or overstuffed. While the film's pacing does no great favors — we jump right into the principal conflict, which is a tough beat to sustain for so long — and a few abject narrative leaps keep the story from feeling tidy, these problems feel like a second priority. Even if some of the jokes feel strained or rehashed, if the characters are malleable, if the conceit is overcooked, or if there are too many plot holes to count... we're laughing. So it's working.
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The Israeli beauty locks lips with a chubby-faced, bespectacled nerd, played by commercials actor Jesse Heiman, in a sensational commercial for GoDaddy.com, and while many viewers have been left turned off by the leaked clip, Refaeli admits it was one of her most memorable experiences and she's thankful to the online company for giving her the opportunity to shoot the project.
She tells U.S. breakfast show Today, "It's a funny thing because I actually have this very strange dream that all my friends know about it. I always wanted to go to a club, or somewhere filled with people, look around, choose the one guy that's most unlikely that I'll ever kiss or pay attention to and go and kiss him in front of everyone, so he will be happy and will remember it for the rest of the week... For me, it was almost like Go Daddy made my dream come true."
The commercial, which will air during the big game on Sunday (03Jan13), has already been censored by the CBS TV network due to its explicit content, but Refaeli insists she has no hard feelings about the executives' decision to show a tamer version of her sloppy make-out session with Heiman.
She adds, "I would've been very much fine (sic) with the second one airing, and not the tamer one... I just feel like if you do something like that and it's filled with a lot of humour... then go all the way, but I trust the people that know better than me."
She won't be the only supermodel starring in a new Super Bowl commercial on Sunday - Kate Upton will appear in ads for Mercedes.
Alec Baldwin talked to David Letterman about his experience with congress and the major difference between the House and the Senate and apparently, it's just a southern accent.
Lil Jon stopped by Conan to finally explain the meaning of "crunk" to the rest of the world. Also, he talked about how messed up it was living with Gary Busey and seriously, we all know that Gary Busey is one messed up dude, but if freaking LIL JON is saying he's crazy, well, I don't even know where to start.
Jesse Heiman, a.k.a. the World's Greatest Extra, chatted about his career with Jay Leno on The Tonight Show. There's nothing really else to say other than that this kid is just awesome. Best of luck with your career, dude.
Mythbusters Jamie Hyneman and Adam Savage appeared on The Colbert Report and talked with Stephen Colbert about blowing stuff up. Also, Colbert convinced them to examine some myths that he wondered about, like "Don't throw the baby out with the bathwater."
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