Prime Video has one of the most underrated comedies ever — and you can stream it now

Rose Byrne and Seth Rogen in Neighbors
(Image credit: Alamy)

I miss the R-rated comedy. From the early 1980s to the mid-2010s, studios always had multiple R-rated comedies lined up on their release calendar for the upcoming year. These films conditioned audiences to watch them in crowded theaters, with the genre producing comedic stars who would be in our lives for decades. Actors who became stars during this era include Adam Sandler, Will Ferrell, Tina Fey, Kristen Wiig, Vince Vaughn, Owen Wilson, Leslie Mann and Ben Stiller. 

Another star who broke out during the comedy boom of the 2000s was Seth Rogen. After a memorable appearance in “The 40-Year-Old Virgin,” Rogen became a leading man in “Knocked Up” and parlayed that success into “Superbad,” “Pineapple Express” and “This Is The End.” Toward the end of the studio R-rated comedy boom, Rogen starred in 2014’s “Neighbors,” a bro-mantic comedy that’s celebrating its 10th anniversary this month. While “Neighbors” won’t go down as Rogen’s best film, it’s in the running for the most underrated comedy of the 2010s.

Directed by Nicholas Stoller, “Neighbors” stars Rogen and Rose Byrne as Mac and Kelly Radner, a married couple struggling to adjust as new parents to their baby daughter, Stella. The couple moves into a starter house in what they believe is a quiet neighborhood. Mac and Kelly’s party days are over, but they’ve only just begun for their new next-door neighbors, the Delta Psi Beta fraternity.  

The fraternity’s president, Teddy Sanders (Zac Efron), tries to become friends with Mac and Kelly to maintain the peace. That ends quickly when Mac and Kelly call the cops on the fraternity after a rowdy night of partying. It’s an all-out war between the couple and Delta Psi as each side tries to make the other party move out of the neighborhood. 

Terrific chemistry between Seth Rogen, Rose Byrne and Zac Efron

If you were to draw a triple Venn diagram on why “Neighbors” works, Rogen, Byrne, and Efron would each occupy a circle. Rogen excelling in a comedy should come as no surprise. He thrives as Mac, a young father refusing to bury his old lifestyle from pre-parenthood. On the other hand, you could argue that Byrne’s Rose grew up too quickly. Byrne is a terrific comedic actress, having proved her prowess in the genre with 2011’s “Bridesmaids.” Rose’s vulgarity and temper match Mac’s nonconfrontational, anxious personality.

The real breakout performance of “Neighbors” belongs to Efron, who has never been funnier in a movie. Efron has the looks — a six-pack, to be exact — and charm to pass as a fraternity president. More importantly, Efron holds his own alongside Rogen and Byrne. From flirting with Rose to the Robert De Niro gag, Efron’s innate charisma is on full display, reaffirming why he was once one of Hollywood’s brightest stars. With impressive comedic timing and the dramatic chops (cc: “The Iron Claw”) to back it up, here’s to hoping Efron remains a leading actor this next decade.

‘Neighbors’ is a raunchy comedy with heart

“Neighbors” earned its hard R-rating. It does not shy away from crude humor. There are plenty of penis jokes for immature minds, including a memorable scene where Delta Psi makes sex toys. “Neighbors” taught viewers about “beef stew before watching ‘The View’” in a hilarious exchange between Teddy and Pete (Dave Franco). Remember that this is a frat movie — sex, drugs, and alcohol are included in every party scene. 

There is also a surprising amount of physical comedy throughout “Neighbors.” The airbag scene that ends with Rogen hitting the ceiling is still very funny. The final fight between Rogen and Efron, where they slap each other with fake penises and break out their best Batman impressions, is ridiculous yet entertaining, an overarching theme of the film.

Despite the obscene humor and explicit jokes, “Neighbors” has some surprisingly heartfelt messages, which may vary depending on where you are in life. The younger generation can relate to Teddy’s fear of adulthood and inability to move on from his “glory days” in a fraternity. The older generation can connect to the Radners, who are afraid to fail as parents and yearn for their past lives. 

Sure, “Neighbors” will make sure to mix in a sex joke about “bros before hoes” whenever it gets the chance. However, its messages about the future and what people do to hang onto the past are rather effective. In a time when these types of movies are struggling in theaters, “Neighbors” is a great reminder of an elite R-rated comedy with humor, charm, and heart.

Delta Psi forever. 

Watch Neighbors on Prime Video

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Dan Girolamo

Dan is a talented content creator who specializes in pop culture, entertainment, and sports. His entertainment interviews have been featured on Digital Trends, where he has spoken with various actors and entertainers, including Brendan Fraser, Alison Brie, and James Cameron. Additionally, Dan is a sportswriter with The Sports Daily, breaking down the top news in the NFL and NBA while providing picks and predictions for each league. Other bylines include, Unafraid Show, Fansided, and WatchMojo. When he’s not working, Dan enjoys rooting for his favorite New York sports teams and watching the latest movie from Christopher Nolan or Martin Scorsese.