It’s a classic story as old as time. A young married couple moves into a home with their newborn child. Everything is pleasant, that is until the frat house next door makes your life a living hell. Well, maybe not a classic story as old as time, but Seth Rogen starring Neighbors is making moves in the streaming world. The raunchy comedy is currently in the top ten for free streaming on IMDb TV.
Neighbors is an R-Rated comedy that stars Seth Rogen and Rose Byrne as Mac and Kelly Radner. They move into a new home with their young baby girl. Unbeknownst to them, their neighbors are the frat house from hell, led by Zac Efron in stunningly humourous form as Teddy Sanders. At first, the Radner’s try a diplomatic approach to calming down their noisy neighbors, but when that fails, the conflict between the two homesteads falls to all-out prank-filled warfare.
Neighbors, was released in 2014 and was directed by Nicholas Stoller, whose back-catalog includes the likes of Forgetting Sarah Marshall and Get Him to the Greek. Comedy is clearly Stoller’s forte, as it is for Seth Rogen and Rose Byrne. The film went down well with critics, being certified fresh with film rating site Rotten Tomatoes. Its 73% critics score is accompanied by a critical consensus that states: “With plenty of bawdy humour evenly spread between its well-matched stars, Neighbors earns its R rating — and filmgoers’ laughs.” The film was also a box-office success on a reportedly low budget of approximately $18 million. The movie returned $270 million worldwide. This is likely why it spawned a sequel, in which the Radner’s end up taking on a sorority.
What more did critics have to say about Neighbors? One critic, namely Wesley Morris for Grantland, heaps praise on Seth Rogen’s co-star Zac Efron, saying: “One of the great surprises of Neighbors is both the gentle way with which it handles a nimrod party animal like Teddy and how good Efron is at playing him.” Morris highlights one important part of Neighbors. It surprisingly makes you care about the characters on both sides of the fence. With more empathy with the characters, the laughs come much easier and audiences will be genuinely engaged with each character’s comic fate come the end of the movie. It is no surprise it is resonating with audiences on IMDb some eight years after its initial release.
For Seth Rogen, Neighbors is just one of many comedy hits in his acting career. Rogen and comedy have become familiar bedfellows. He has appeared in countless fan-favorite films, from Superbad to Pineapple Express and This is the End to Knocked Up. His comedy career has also seen him go to places cinema audiences never thought possible in Sausage Party, an R-Rated animated movie that features sentient food products in a fight for their lives from the humans that continually eat them. That movie ends in such a fashion that cannot be forgotten about by anybody who has seen it and perhaps shouldn’t be spoken about either.
More recently, Seth Rogen has appeared in Pam and Tommy. The series is based on a true-life story following the rocky relationship of actress Pamela Anderson and drummer Tommy Lee and the aftermath of their released sex tape. Pamela and Tommy are played by the widely celebrated Lily James and Sebastian Stan. Seth Rogen stars as Rand Gauthier, an electrician who steals the sex tape and partners with a porn producer to turn the steal into a profit. The mini-series is currently available to stream online and is a departure from Rogen’s standard comedy fare.
Seth Rogen isn’t afraid to step out of his comedy-acting comfort zone. As well as being a well-regarded writer/producer, often on many of his own starring vehicles, Rogen is also a producer of comic-book adapted work. Namely, the TV series Preacher. Seth Rogen has long been a comic-book fan and helped bring Preacher comics from DC Vertigo by Garth Ennis and Steve Dillon to the small screen. He is credited not only as an executive producer on the show but as a creator as well. A man of many talents then, able to switch lanes from actor to writer to producer. He is able to swap genres from comedy to drama on both sides of the camera. It’s clear Seth Rogen is a talented individual with a body of work so vast that it’s easy for countless fans to pick out their own individual and nuanced favorites. It seems the favorite of the moment is Neighbors, which is not a bad choice indeed.