An eccentric young couple (Dan Aykroyd and Cathy Moriarity) move in next door to a reserved man (John Belushi) and his wife's (Kathryn Walker) residence. It's evident from the start that these two misfits are out of place in the cul-de-sacs of the suburbs. As the night progresses, things get more and more zany and out of control.
Whether John G. Avildsen’s cinematic adaptation of Thomas Berger’s best-selling novel “Neighbors” is cinematic gold is still up for debate 33 years later. Some call it an uneven comedic misfire. Others would claim it to be a foreshadowing of the darkly and quirky genius that would become a popular and respectable sub-genre thanks to Tim Burton’s rise to fame a few years later.
Although “Neighbors” has Belushi and Aykroyd successfully switching roles, it’s still a perfect example of the charisma the two had when they paired up together. Belushi would usually play crazy to Aykroyd’s straight man. However, the two decided to switch parts at the beginning of production for this film. It gives the movie a unique spin that sets it apart from all the other team –ups the two engaged in.
One thing “Neighbors” does well is suck you into its crazy world. You truly forget it’s a movie and are taken on a wild ride that unfolds over the period of one Friday night. It gives you that fuzzy buzzy feeling you get when you stay awake all night long after the last day of the work week. The sensation adds to the quirky viewing experience.
Although it’s rated R, “Neighbors” would achieve nothing above a PG-13 if released today. There’s quite a bit of profanity and adult content. However, no nudity is found. It’s tame by today’s rating standards.
“Neighbors” was only re- released on DVD, which will no doubt make many consumers depressed. It’s still nice to be able to get our hands on a copy of the movie after so many years off the grid. There are no special features included. We can only dream about new interviews with Dan Aykroyd, Cathy Moriarity, and Kathryn Walker about the making of the film and working with Belushi.
A new edition of “Neighbors” is a welcome addition to any film enthusiast’s library of 1980’s comedy classics. It captures a unique moment in the careers of John Belushi and Dan Aykroyd. Even without any bonus material or “Behind-the-Scenes” featurettes, it’s still worth picking up thanks to an entertainingly dark romp through suburbia.
“Neighbors” is available now on DVD.