"Yeah, that escalated really quickly"
This movie is at its best when it embraces the ridiculousness of its storyline and focuses on the back and forth between these two factions (yes, Kelly and Mac are equals to an entire frat house. They’re that bad-ass). The pacing in this movie is near perfect. Each step of the confrontation leads to a slightly larger, more drastic course of action; things begin to get dangerous in a real way, and both the characters and the audience fail to realize it until they’re all in way too deep. But you can’t stop a rolling stone, and the grand finale to the feud does not fail to disappoint.
This all wouldn’t matter, though, if it weren’t for the fantastic performances aided by the writing. The dialogue in this film has a wonderful improvisational quality, and the written script and the ad-libs flow seamlessly together. There are dozens of cameos from both veterans of the comedy scene (Lisa Kudrow as the campus Dean) and up-and-comers (Hannibal Buress as a casually dickish police officer), and every character with a name gets at least one moment where they shine.
Really though, Byrne and Rogan sell this film for me. The history the characters share is present in every moment they’re on screen together, and their true sense of camaraderie shines through. Neither of them is the nagging spouse (as pointed out by the movie in a self-referential fight scene). They’re equals in this venture, and because they complement each other so well it makes it that much easier to root for them.
The frat boys of Delta Psi are a little less well drawn, but make up for it with pure style. I didn’t realize I missed Zach Efron until he re-emerged onto the film scene, and this may be the best performance I’ve seen out of him. He’s a leader of men and boys, balancing his stubborn tenacity and lack of long-term insight with a true passion for his fraternity and what it stands for. He’s matched well with Dave Franco (who wins my “where have I seen him” award) as his VP.
Ultimately, if you can forgive the film for its ridiculous premise and some of its failed attempts to be deep (we don’t learn more about Efron or Franco’s hopes and dreams until the latter half of the film), it’s a great time and definitely earns its place in the top tier of its brand of film. Hopefully bros and ladybros alike will be partying to this movie for years to come.
DRINK: Anything you’d expect to find in a frat house. Beer, jello shots and straight tequila all come to mind.
Drink when someone says “fuck”.
Drink for each stage of the escalating conflict.
Drink when you see pot paraphernalia.
Drink for breasts or genitals. Drink twice if they’re seen in an unsexy situation.
Drink when anyone mentions the baby.