Here is the thing about "Neighbors," a hard-R hybrid of "Animal House" and a sort-of sequel to "Knocked Up" in which a Gen X couple with an infant daughter and a hefty mortgage declares war on the rowdy Gen Y frat boys who move in next door: You will laugh. Maybe not nearly as much as during "The 40-Year-Old Virgin" or "Superbad" but there is a steady stream of inducements to at least chuckle with regularity. Most of these lewd dollops of humor rely on what we will refer to (as a matter of decorum) as “Richard” jokes, ranging from artisanal dildos to the miracle of an instant erection.
You may even applaud, as my audience did, when Rose Byrne—as mother and wife Kelly, who desperately needs a night out and is shockingly adept at cursing—proves her comedic prowess in "Bridesmaids" was no fluke. With almost scary zeal, she summons her fulsome wiles to seduce both a girl and a guy into hooking up after lubricating their libidos with several rounds of shots.
You will also groan at some of the more inappropriate moments, such as the unfortunate use of the “N” word as well as an ill-advised joke about baby HIV. Also annoying is the lack of any fully developed women beyond Byrne and Lisa Kudrow as a fed-up college dean. The female students fluttering by all seem to dress as if they were in a Victoria’s Secret fashion show. And note to the two male screenwriters, Andrew J. Cohen and Brendan O’Brien: Breast-feeding is not as amusing as you think it is.
As for the plot, it’s a grass-is-always-greener scenario—but with plenty of weed, too. The twist is, both sides want what the other one has. For cubicle drone Mac (Seth Rogen), it’s a chance to revisit his responsibility-free past. For party major Teddy (Zac Efron), it’s a possible future beyond hot-tub bacchanals and hazing underclassmen. They are less foils and more fun-house reflections of one another, and that is rather deep for this kind of id-driven tomfoolery.