Neighbors 2: Hope for Feminist Comedy

***Spoiler Alert****

 

Zac Efron has never let me down--ever. My loyalty to Seth Rogan is unprecedented. You better believe I was sitting in theaters when the first Neighbors released. While that film didn’t make the top of my faves from those particular stars, Neighbors 2: Sorority Rising had me in literal tears. My best friends can testify.

While the movie had the traditional humorous content, like a near-naked Efron and pot smoking antics, it had something that other comedies lack--an understanding that comedy doesn’t have to be at the expense of womxn. Y’all, the movie earned a hearty 62% from Rotten Tomatoes. For a Efron/Rogan film, that feels extraordinary. Maybe the expectation for the film was low and the movie exceeded them by a landslide--but I'm still wondering why more people aren't talking about it?

 

 

The movie offered an extremely dynamic and character-driven plot. Enter Chloë Grace Moretz as an incoming freshman at a university who is looking for some solid girl friends to share her college experiences. She scopes out the party scene on campus, hoping that a sorority is a right fit. When her and her new friends learn that sororities aren't allowed to have any fun because of misogynist constructs and frat parties are a cesspool for date rape and violence against women, they venture to find their own housing and start the only sorority allowed to throw dope parties. Again, the family next door has some problems with it. Zac Efron joins the scene to help the girls who are buying his former fraternity home. Antics ensue and I won't ruin the movie for you, but I recommend it to the Her Campus of Seattle U readership. 

 

 

As far as the representation in films go, there is a lot of work to be done in terms of who’s casted for primary roles. Dave Franco is written as gay in the Neighbors sequel and I have a few notes about it. First, this was the aspect of the movie that had be sobbing because of the personal experience associated with the scenes. Kudos, Neighbors. But I still wonder why we can't cast actual gay celebrities or invite new LGBTQ actors to perform in mainstream movies (and not murder or ridicule their characters)?

The production featured sorority girls of different backgrounds and invited sexual liberation. Chloë's character loses her virginity after spending some time at her new sorority, but we only see about 30 seconds of the whole movie even discussing it. Why? Because virginity is a social construct and shouldn't be the only topic a female character has to represent in a film. Kudos again, Neighbors

The feminist-forward jokes were unlike any mainstream movie I’ve watched, especially for a movie marketed primarily to college-age males. This type of humor will go a long way for audiences when comedians like Seth Rogan support feminism. I hope it encourages more comedy writers to create screenplays for the girls usually at the butt of a joke with characters who are representative of the audience. 

Next time a cis, straight boy makes a misogynistic joke, swipe left and keep in mind you can find your funny man who also supports your womxnhood! Now go watch Efron be a babe! Or stick around for Rogan's notorious laugh. Take your best gal pals.