We wanted to like Bros more. Co-writer and star Billy Eichner jumped at the chance to expand the boundaries of the wide-release Hollywood rom-com to tell the story of a gay romance and give representation to people who are usually marginalised, if included at all, in mainstream comedy, and whose inclusion is often at their expense. It’s a shame, then, that it’s comedically unimaginative and unskilled …. and preachy. A wasted opportunity.
Coarse, vulgar, cheap, low: Neighbors is a very big hit and a very depressing sight. It’s as if the terrain mined by Porky’s in the early 80’s has now become the only vein American comedy excels at: tit jokes, pissing contests, cock measurements, passing out with drink, getting high on anything. You can’t blame the very attractive cast. Most of them are comedians; and who could blame a comedian for stooping to a laugh? Moreover it’s funny: the audience reaction is proof of it. It is in fact also very intelligent and has some good lines (‘He looks like something a gay guy designed’, say Seth Rogen’s character of Zac Affron’s). But there’s the rub for me: all that intelligence, all that comedic talent… for what? Tit jokes? Even ‘with a twist’? In the words of Jonathon Gatehouse, ‘Everywhere you look these days, America is in a race to embrace the stupid’. Neighbors is just one more example. A sad commentary on American Comedy and on America itself.