Neighbors 2: Sorority Rising

Neighbors-2-Flipper

I went to the theatre last night with my youngest daughter to see Neighbors 2: Sorority Rising. I am almost embarrassed to say we saw the first instalment in the theatre together 2 years ago, when she was perhaps one of the youngest in the audience. The communal laughter at that time was intoxicating and we were hoping to recapture that experience. Boy did we ever last night.

We wanted to laugh and this movie had plenty to laugh about. There were funny lines, physical pratfalls galore and real warmth to the story. Like most comedy sequels, the plot is rather silly and contrived at times, but if the character beats work, the flaws are easily forgiven.

 

Mac (Seth Rogen) and Kelly (Rose Byrne) are in a 30 day escrow period and anxious to seal the deal on their house sale so they can move to accommodate their expanding family. Unfortunately, a group of college girls decides to move into the abandoned frat house next door. The girls are interested in partying their way, which is against the rules of the traditional “greek” community. Soon it is a full on war between the old people and the youth of today.

I found I could relate to many issues raised by both camps. I liked the way the diverse group of girls, lead by Shelby, Beth and Nora (Chloe Grace Moretz, Kiersey Clemons and Beanie Feldstein respectively) were depicted. They were simply striving to be themselves and indifferent to pleasing the men around them. I laughed at Mac and Kelly’s struggle to be “good parents.” I even found myself somewhat sympathetic to Zac Efron’s dim-bulb portrayal of Teddy, who returns to the house of his fondest memories, trying to find a place in the world.

This was a good solid comedy with laugh out loud moments and a shocking absence of meanness, despite the retaliatory conflict. It came to a satisfying resolution and was reasonably paced. If you liked the first movie, Neighbors, then you won’t be disappointed by this. I was especially delighted by the fact that my middle school daughter said to me that she thought those drinking parties didn’t seem very fun. She would rather just hang with her friends. That led to a discussion about the substance use (alcohol and marijuana) that was depicted in the film. I am glad that we can talk about these things.

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