The sheer contempt for cinema-goers displayed by this utterly worthless, mindless, witless junk beggars belief. I have put pen to paper simply to prevent anyone being misled or conned by the incomprehensible and culpable indulgence shown towards it in the weekend press.
My wife and I were at a loose end on the evening of the somewhat anonymous ‘May Day’ Bank Holiday and despite no great taste for 'gross-out’ movies and humour, the surprisingly upbeat reviews encouraged us to give Neighbours a go.
Our expectations weren’t very high; but we love movies of all kinds so much that we have a pretty forgiving attitude even to weak US ‘comedies’ that live off the humour of embarrassment.
I thought the much-‘loved’ because oft-repeated ‘gross-out’ genre trope of a dog shagging a cuddly toy would always stand as a paradigm of a crude, repulsive failure to be funny; though running neck and neck with the galloping diarrhoea sequence in Bridesmaids. Until (Bad) Neighbours that is. Here an execerable Seth Rogan, throughout about as funny as herpes; is required to ‘milk’ wife Rose Byrne because she has drunk so much there will be too much alcohol in her breast milk for her baby to drink.
Everyone involved in this scene should be deeply ashamed of themselves: Andrew Cohen and Brendan O’Brien who ‘wrote’ it, Stoller for ever allowing it to get to the screen; and mostly Rose Byrne and Seth Rogan for the gross misjudgement of playing it. It is a crude, unpleasant, deeply-embarrassing, totally unjustified scene that is utterly unfunny and puerile in conception and execution.
There’s not much else worth saying about this lazy, demeaning garbage; except that a narcissitic Zac Efron squanders what modest talent he possesses with an embarrassed, chest-baring, sexually objectified male stereotype that in reverse would have women marching in the streets. The implicit contempt for what women want and want to see is at least consistent with the manipulative, cynical exploitative soul of this junk.
I don’t go to see movies just so I can slate them. I like to find something in a movie; and even trash like the Hangover series has moments which are funny – despite oneself. There are perhaps two such in Neighbours – both are in the trailer and one laughs almost out a sense of relief after the systematic assault on one’s sensibilities destroying all vestiges of good will arising from powerfully liberal instincts.
Hollywood is having a pretty crap 21st Century so far: perhaps its only sustained ‘new’ genre is the ‘gross-out’ ‘comedy’ of which Neighbours is the nadir – plumbing new undiscovered depths of worthless, mirthless embarrassment.
I am comforted that there was very little laughter to be heard in the cinema; but it really is about time that young people at whom ostensibly this garbage is aimed, begin to vote with their feet and demand entertainment that does not assume they are stupid, witless and without any sense of humour save laughing at the cruel, vindictive infliction of embarrassment upon each other to provide rich pickings for ‘celebrity’ actors who should have more pride and self-respect than to participate.
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