NEW YORK (CNS) — Everything you need to know about the witless comedy “Neighbors 2: Sorority Rising” (Universal), you’ll learn from a description of the opening scene.
This finds suburban husband and wife Mac (Seth Rogen) and Kelly (Rose Byrne) Radner in the throes of lovemaking — but with Kelly feeling incongruously queasy.
As you might guess, the outcome of this initial situation is something moviegoers would rather not, um, face.
Yet there’s something even worse than mere tastelessness in store, and that’s this throwaway flick’s pious attempt to preach a dumbed-down version of feminism. According to this philosophy — a sort of Cheech-and-Chong Zen for chicks — women have the same right to pass their college years in a narcotic haze as do their male counterparts.
Trying this viewpoint out in practice is a trio of disaffected freshmen: Shelby (Chloe Grace Moretz), Beth (Kiersey Clemons) and Nora (Beanie Feldstein). They rebel against the male-dominated social scene on their new campus by founding a supposedly liberated sorority, Kappa Nu.
Unfortunately for Mac and Kelly — whose rivalry with the fraternity next door was chronicled in the franchise’s 2014 original — under the guidance of Teddy Sanders (Zac Efron), the now-graduated frat boy who was once the couple’s chief adversary, the party-loving ladies set up house in the same dwelling the brothers used to occupy.
This endangers the Radners’ tentative agreement to sell their home, a deal they can’t afford to have fail.
As the grown-ups tussle with the coeds, returning director Nicholas Stoller — who collaborated on the script with Rogen and three others — pulls out all the stops. One running gag has Mac and Kelly’s toddler daughter, Stella (Elise Vargas), constantly carrying around the adult toy that has become her favorite plaything. And a low point in the Radners’ fortunes comes when the gals of Kappa Nu bombard their residence with used tampons.
A subplot has Teddy’s best friend, frat bro and roommate, Pete (Dave Franco), becoming engaged to his live-in boyfriend. Amid the congratulations that follow, Pete’s legendary exploits in heterosexual promiscuity are glowingly recounted.
Viewers not paying close attention might draw the mistaken conclusion that Pete once had an unusual affinity for a certain-orange flavored breakfast drink associated with the space program.
The film contains distorted values, including a benign view of drug use and of the gay lifestyle, explicit sexual acts, a glimpse of graphic nudity, pervasive sexual and gross-out humor, several uses of profanity and relentless rough and crude language. The Catholic News Service classification is O — morally offensive. The Motion Picture Association of America rating is R — restricted. Under 17 requires accompanying parent or adult guardian.
Mulderig is on the staff of Catholic News Service.
Join the CatholicPhilly.com family
CatholicPhilly.com works to strengthen the connections between people, families and communities every day by delivering the news people need to know about the Catholic Church, especially in the Philadelphia region, and the world in which we live.
By your donation in any amount, you and hundreds of other people become part of our mission to inform, form in the Catholic faith and inspire the thousands of readers who visit every month.
Here is how you can help:
- A $100 gift allows us to present award-winning photos of Catholic life in our neighborhoods.
- A $50 gift enables us to cover a news event in a local parish, school or Catholic institution.
- A $20 gift lets us obtain solid faith formation resources that can deepen your spirituality and knowledge of the faith.
- A small, automated monthly donation means you can support us continually and easily.
Won't you consider making a gift today?
Please join in the church's vital mission of communications by offering a gift in whatever amount that you can ― a single gift of $40, $50, $100, or more, or a monthly donation. Your gift will strengthen the fabric of our entire Catholic community and sustain CatholicPhilly.com as your trusted news source. Thank you in advance!
Make your donation by credit card here:
Or make your donation by check:
222 N. 17th Street
Philadelphia, PA 19103
PREVIOUS: With ‘Nice Guys’ like these, who needs bad guys?
NEXT: Beyond rhetoric, book has useful material on ending capital punishment
Share this story