Rogen and Efron make a strong impression in first filthy funny trailer for ‘Neighbors’

It wasn’t that long ago that I drove to an unassuming street just off the 10 freeway in Los Angeles and followed the directions to the two houses being used for what was still at that point being called “Townies.”

By this point, I feel comfortable on a set that’s run by Seth Rogen, Evan Goldberg, or Nicholas Stoller, and when you throw all three of them into the mix, you’ve got my attention. I ended up talking to Stoller, Goldberg, and Rogen, as well as screenwriters Andrew J. Cohen and Brendan O’Brien, and it was apparent that they all had one clear goal in mind: make a stunningly dirty and wildly funny film.

If you’re unfamiliar with the film, it deals with Mac (Rogen) and Kelly (Rose Byrne), a young couple who have just gone through two of the most stressful experiences that you can face in normal daily life. They just had a baby, and they just bought a house. Piling those one on top of the other means that they’re stretched about as thin as they can be, and then within days of them closing the deal on their house, they get new neighbors, and it turns out to be a fraternity, run by Teddy (Zac Efron), Scoonie (Christopher Mintz-Plasse) and Pete (Dave Franco).

At first, Mac and Kelly try to reach out to the frat guys and find some sort of middle ground where they can all be happy and continue to live as neighbors, but it quickly becomes clear that the only possible course of action for everyone is war, and things escalate wildly. I saw several chunks of rough footage, and it was amazing how dirty it was, and how funny, even in that unfinished stage. In addition to that cast, there are appearances by Lisa Kudrow, Carla Gallo, Jake Johnson, Ike Barinholtz, and a ton of funny young actors I’m less familiar with overall. 

In the red-band trailer that just went live, you’ll see a short bit involving the frat guys all doing terrible Robert De Niro impressions, and that’s the morning I was on the set. The variations they ran on that joke were hilarious, both from the frat guys and from Mac and Kelly. It looks like the sort of film where they shoot so much extra footage that the challenge isn’t finding a good take… it’s deciding which of the many good takes to actually use.

I look forward to seeing the finished version of this, and for now, this is a great first foot forward for the movie.