It was only a matter of time before somebody made a gross-out flick that dealt more pointedly with the issue underpinning the genre – the man-boy who won’t grow up.
As a loudmouth stoner who has turned a pretty buck from acting the goat, it comes as a surprise to find Seth Rogen swapping roles to play the middle-class family man with wife and tiny tot in the burbs.
Mac and Kelly (Rose Byrne) and little Stella (I’m not a baby kinda guy, but this kid is fab) have their quarter-acre idyll shattered when the house next door becomes home to a college fraternity.
The president of the Delta Psi Beta boys is Teddy (Zac Efron), a rager whose mission is to throw a graduation party that will outdo all of his predecessors’ and go down in the annals of debauchery, drunkenness and decadence.
The conflict initiating and maintaining the story is centred on Mac and Kelly’s efforts to get Teddy and the undergrad revellers to tone it down.
All-out war erupts between the two sides with a string of not entirely surprising setups and site gags ensuing – one that involves the theft from Mac’s car of its safety airbags is hilarious.
Rogen does nothing out of the ordinary – despite his different hat he smokes a lot of dope and gets plastered – but letting her hair down and venting righteously in the Australian accent that she is allowed to keep, Byrne is a harridan of frazzled wild-haired energy and cunning.
It is when the sub-text kicks in, when Teddy’s best mate and V-P, Pete (Dave Franco), confronts him with the awful truth that Teddy’s behaviour is a manifestation of self-denial, that there really is a post-party world to be dealt with, that the heart of the movie beats strongest.
There is a fart joke in the first five minutes and plenty of not especially scintillating humour concerning dicks and tits etc, but I got a lot of laughs and enjoyed heaps the mix of Rogen, Byrne and Efron.