Is it just me or is Seth Rogen a bit of a crybaby? Don’t get me wrong! I’m not immune to his bumbling, self-doubting, stoner charm, but… the whininess-to-hardship ratio just doesn’t add up for me. What’s the worst movie conflict he’s had to endure? Impregnating a hot, successful E! reporter and working to turn that it into an amicable, long term relationship? Dealing with emotions while filming a porno with his super hot best friend and working to turn that into an amicable, long term relationship? Coming to terms with his best friend’s potentially fatal canc- Oh yeah, that one sort of sucks. But now what? He moves next door to some young ornery frat boys who declare a prank war on him as he moves into middle age? Well, then, re-arrange your understanding of the entire human history of suffering!
Just to keep Mr. Rogen’s sense of humility in check, I’ve compiled a list of movie neighbors who will make Efron’s frat boys look like a nunnery (Except Dave Franco. Screw that weirdo. He’s the worst Franco, which makes him close to the worst person). So here you go, Seth. Just keep your troubles in perspective.
7. The Creeds – Pet Sematary
When someone moves in next to you, it’s only right that you offer some pointers to make their transition into the neighborhood a little easier. It’s not just a good step toward establishing a cordial relationship, it’s common decency, right? Well, for Jud Crandall, it’s even easier. He lives basically in the middle of nowhere along a straight stretch of country road seemingly traveled only by semi-trucks. So, when the Creeds move in, he shares the only two things necessary to remember: 1.) keep your pets and kids away from the road and 2.) don’t bury any pets or kids over ‘cross that mountain there, because that’s a cursed Indian burial ground over there. That’s not even advice; that’s an idiot test. Well, Louis Creed manages to fail on both counts in about a week. And who does the zombie Creed baby kill first? You guessed it. Retired Herman Munster.
6. Marcie – Uncle Buck
She’s pushy. She’s nosy. She’s pretentious (“Marci Dahlgren-Frost. I get compliments on the hyphen.” Her introduction reads like an author bio on Jezebel.com) Marci is that neighbor who invites herself to your parties, gets drunk, and falls asleep on everyone’s coats. It doesn’t help that she dresses like a gypsy dipped into a tub of glitter. If Keith Richards was her neighbor, he’d skip town and leave a note that read: “Might wanna tone that down a bit, love.” We won’t even get into the way she threw herself, literally, at Uncle Buck.
5. Laurie Strode – Halloween
Sometimes neighbors bring baggage. With Laurie, the baggage is eight feet tall, wears a weird mask, and shows up once a year to terrorize whatever town has the misfortune of being his sister’s home. Halloween is my favorite holiday. But I can say that now, because pure evil has never trampled through and murdered half the neighborhood (namely, the hot and sexually active younger residents). I’m sure, for 364 days a year, Laurie is a stand-up citizen who keeps her PTSD behind doors, but that exceptional night is a bad night to ruin for me.
4. The Town of Seahaven – The Truman Show
Everyone hates phonies. Those people who pretend to be something in your presence when you know they’re someone totally different as soon as you leave the room. Well, Truman Burbank lives in a town full of the most phony neighbors imaginable (he doesn’t even know anyone’s real name!). To make matters worse, they’re manipulative (conspiring together to make him deathly afraid of water), mooching (he’s basically supplying all their paychecks) and invasive. The whole town exists so that hidden cameras can broadcast every minute of Truman’s life to the entire world.
3. The Castevets – Rosemary’s Baby
Here’s some house shopping advice you ain’t gonna learn on House Hunters. Always ask your real estate agent to let you tour all prospective properties during “the witching hour.” If he/she doesn’t immediately, without question set up an appointment for you to view the property at 3 a.m., then there is a 100 percent chance that he’s/she’s hiding the satanist cult activities of the next door neighbors. This advice has never failed me. I’ve yet to this day owned a property near devil worshipers (I don’t actually own a home yet; there are a lot of cults out there, I guess). Ignore me if you want to, but when you end up pregnant with Lucifer’s baby, don’t say Mia Farrow and I didn’t warn you.
2. Colonel Fitts – American Beauty
There’s no shortage of bad neighbors to choose from in this little neighborhood. We could list the weird kid with the camera. Or how about virgin Mena Suvari pulling some hypnotist shit to make a grown man think a romp with her fish face is worth going to jail over? But I guess the obvious pick is the homophobic bigot Colonel Fitts. Now I consider Chris Cooper to be a handsome older gentleman, but spouting out hate speech everyday isn’t the best way to win my affection. I have to be given more options than forcible mouth assault and execution style murder. If you’re going to be pushy, I’m just going to take Option C. Let me die so my soul can carry a plastic shopping bag in divine poetry.
1. L. B. Jeffries – Rear Window
Oh, Hitchcockian Twist, fools! You never saw it coming! I don’t mean the murderer, I mean the snoopy protagonist! At least if the murderer is your neighbor, you get an interesting story to tell afterward. If your neighbor is ol’ Jeff, all you get is that dirty feeling of being watched. You have to spend every day living with the unspoken truth that the murderer in your neighborhood was only caught because there was a peeping Tom right across the street. And think about it. Jimmy Stewart with sex offender status? Not nearly as charming.